Residents in China's southwest are suffering from a severe drought that began in July. The dry conditions have affected crop yields, farmers complain that there's little food to eat, and what is available to buy has become very expensive.
Severe drought in southwest China has already dwindled the water supply for millions of people. Now residents in Guizhou and Yunnan provinces are facing another challenge—depleted food supplies. Locals say the dry weather has affected normal crop yields, sending food prices skyrocketing.
[Ms. Wang, Farmer from Yunnan Province]:
"We don't have water, fish and grains have all died. The drought is worse than last year. The wells have dried up. We can't harvest anything. There's high inflation, vegetables are hundreds of times more expensive than before."
In Guizhou province, 5.5-million people are facing water shortages, according to state-run media.
In neighboring Yunnan province, 1.5-million people can't readily access drinking water. Authorities are now planning to deliver water to those in need, but residents say they've received little help so far.
[Ms. Yang, Farmer from Yunnan Province]:
"The corn and potato crops are gone...There are too many corrupt officials in our town. They haven't sent us water or any other aid. What becomes available is embezzled by them, ordinary farmers don't receive anything."
Southwest China is commonly affected by drought. This year's dry conditions began in July, and have already dried up hundreds of rivers and reservoirs.
Local weather bureaus say relief from the dry spell may not come until the middle of September.
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