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China fights drought in the south
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-10 21:43:45

    BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- China is fighting the most severe drought in the southern part of the country since 1951.

    The State Council, China's cabinet, held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss work on drought relief and water conservancy construction in the coming winter and spring.

    Earlier before the meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has instructed to pay high heed to the drought and make every measure to reduce losses of late autumn crops.

    The heavy drought has increased pressure on the country's water conservancy projects, said Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu at themeeting.

    China's meteorological department predicted that most parts of China may witness a "warm winter", which could deteriorate the drought, increase risk for forest and grassland fire and trigger spread of animal diseases.

    To combat the drought, the government called people to save water as much as possible. Meanwhile, governments at all levels should improve management of water utilities guaranteeing the daily water supply in urban and rural areas, Hui said.

    The governments at all levels are also required to improve protection of arable land and train farmers to use water-efficient technologies and increase productivity, he added.

    The government will also increase relief funds and provide enough material for victims in drought-hit provinces to meet their needs in coming winter, he added.

    A large drought has ravaged China's southern and eastern provinces, including Guangdong, Hainan, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region this autumn.

    In Jiangxi Province alone, drought is affecting more than 202,000 hectares of crops and making it difficult to supply enough drinking water to 620,000 people and 260,000 livestock. Enditem

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