Chinese Children in Drought-Hit Region Make Cliffhanging Trips to Fetch Water

Ministry of Tofu has posted a striking set of photos showing small children in Sichuan clinging to cliffside paths with heavy loads of water on their backs.

According to the state media, until September 8, altogether 3.41 million hectares (8.42 million acres) of farmland in four provinces, namely Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi, and Chongqing municipality, have been affected. 12.64 million people and 6.16 million livestock animals do not have sufficient drinking water as a result.

In Sichuan’s Xuyong county, rice paddy, tabacco leaves, which are grown in the region on a large scale, could not be harvested this year due to the drought. Villagers have to trudge miles and scale heights to fetch water from high up on the mountain. (Photos by Liu Sijun from China News)

Both parents of 8-year-old Yang Wei have left the village to become migrant workers. She stays with her grandmother and brother. Every day, Yang Wei has to climb the mountain, which is about a mile away, with her friends to get water and carry it home. The round trip takes about an hour.

The post notes that the drought’s effects have not been limited to rural areas. Photos collected from Mop show crowds of students at Sichuan University of Science and Technology lining up with buckets behind a water delivery truck. Further afield, Economic Observer (via CDT) explains how diminished hydroelectric output in Guizhou has hit manufacturing in the Pearl River Delta to the east.

September 15, 2011 11:55 AM
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Categories: Environment, Society