From Chinese Press

Fight drought jointly

Updated: 2011-05-31 07:27

(China Daily)

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People in South China are bracing for the worst drought in 50 years, and rural residents could be the worst hit. Local authorities have to adopt more emergency measures to ensure that rural residents get enough drinking and irrigation water, says an article in Wuhan Evening News. Excerpts:

Farmers and other rural residents have always been the worst affected by droughts. With lakes drying up even in the water-abundant Yangtze River basin, people are trying every means possible to get water for drinking and irrigation.

But why is it that droughts always leave farmers helpless but do not hurt water supplies in cities?

A lot of government revenue has been spent on urban water facilities and projects to ensure that cities get enough supply of water throughout the year - even during droughts - but the needs of people in rural areas have been somewhat ignored. Urban residents don't have to worry about water shortage, and some of them even waste a lot of water.

But cities dwellers have no right to become large-scale water-consuming machines and disregard the needs of rural residents.

Like so many other things, rural residents have sacrificed a lot for urban dwellers even in terms of water. Now it's time for city residents to pay back their rural counterparts (especially farmers) - after all, farming is not possible without water and food security cannot be ensured without farming.

It's high time the government reformed the water resources allocation mechanism for rural and urban areas. Urban planners should strengthen self-discipline, and publicize and implement water-saving methods. More importantly, they should help farmers fight against droughts.

The specter of a severe drought is looming over the Yangtze River basin, and it will devastate rural and urban residents both unless governments at all levels and people across the rural-urban divide make joint efforts to fight it.

(China Daily 05/31/2011 page9)


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