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Drought Needs More Effort*

More efforts needed in war against drought
(06/11/2001) (China Daily)

Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao has told relevant departments to provide all necessary backing to help disaster areas fight against the drought which has devastated more than 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions over the past three months.

Wen, who is also in charge of China's top administration for flood and drought relief, told a working conference held in Jinan, Shandong Province Sunday that priority should be given to three things.

The first thing is to ensure the water supply in cities. Local governments should establish economic, administrative, technological, legal and engineering measures to ensure the supply. Such measures should include the economic use of water and the recycling and processing of polluted water.

In cities such as Tianjin and Dalian, where water is extremely sparse, more water conservancy facilities should be built as early as possible.

Secondly, he said, the water supply of human and livestocks must be guaranteed. Officials and technicians should grasp the situation at the grassroots.

A total of 15.8 million people are facing a shortage of drinkable water.

Industrial and agricultural production should also be a priority area. Water-saving irrigation techniques should be popularized in agricultural production. Meanwhile, water-consuming business should be minimized.

=The drought is affecting over 23 million hectares of non-irrigated farmland in Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region amongst others.

A total of 2.9 million hectares of land had got no harvest at all.

By the end of May, more than 4.26 million hectares of cultivable land remained unsown because of inadequate moisture in the soil caused by the drought.

(Original Len: 2154 Condensed Len: 2478)

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