A bitter harvest
Updated: 2011-10-03 09:45
Min Dingnan, a resident of Bailong village, Guiding county, bundles his drought-ravaged rice crop. [Photo by Wang Jing / China Daily]
So severe have conditions been that the land has actually cracked. [Photo by Wang Jing / China Daily]
"I haven't seen such a serious drought since 1972," said Min Yingru, 54, head of Bailong village in Southwest China's Guizhou province.
The drought has caused crops to shrivel and brought financial hardship.
Gao Dinghua was forced to leave the village to make a living as there was nothing to reap from the land.
"It is too dry. I must leave home to make ends meet."
Most villagers who planted rice and corn face financial ruin. Only farmers who planted tobacco managed to reap something.
According to the anti-drought office in Guizhou province, 87 out of 88 regions have been affected by drought and 470 reservoirs have dried up. The flow in 349 rivers has been severely disrupted and more than 5.47 million people lack drinking water.
Guiding county, where Bailong village is located, is one of the worst-hit areas. According to Song Linglin, director of water conservancy in the county, the basic crops, rice and corn, have failed.
The local government is making an all-out effort to at least provide water for drinking and possibly irrigation. But the harvest cannot be saved.