China: Worst Drought in 50 years

A worst drought in 50 years, affecting more than 12 provinces and more than 9.3m hectares, in northern China has hit 43% of the country's wheat crop. The Office of State Control and Drought Relief Headquarters warned that 3.7 million people and 1.85 million livestock had lost access to drinking water. In Feb 7, Premier Wen Jiabo visited a village in Henan and urged local officials to place “top priority’ on relief work. Soon after Wen's visit, it started raining in the area… is that miracle? well, it is chemical cloud seeding.

The youtube video below showed the drought situation in Shandong province:

Due to the impact of financial crisis, a large number of migrant workers has returned home to rural area, the drought will make their lives even worse and affect the central government's policy in developing the internal market to deal with the crisis. badanjilin, a blogger with rural background is very worried about the negative impact of the drought:


Although local government tried very hard to fight against the drought, if the weather continues like this, it will affect the summer harvest. With the financial crisis, we can imagine how hard the life of rural peasants will become. In the past years, the weather has been good, and the peasants can be self-sufficient in food supply. Extra labors can earn cash income to improve life. Now that the rain stops, their lives will be much harder. I am the son of a farmer, and I have 2 year farmer experience. I know how hard a farmer life is. Among all the occupation, farmer is the hardest. The three rural problem (agriculture, village and peasant) is also the biggest problem in China. That's why every year, the nation releases a document to give more benefit to peasants. However, there is still a certain number of rural population living under the poverty line.

Irrigation system and suggestion on rural collective

Pinklady from Tianya forum, among a number of voices, pointed out that the country had spent too little to develop a more effective irrigation system in good time. The blogger believes that the ultimate solution is the drip irrigation systems:



Why, after 30 years of economic reform, we still haven't developed our drip irrigation system? It is not complicated at all, all we need is pumps and pvc pipes. The government only need to give some financial support and build the system. The manufacture of pumps and pipes is a piece of cake.




Let me tell you, why we failed to promote the system in northern province. The key problem is that drip irrigation is a system, it cannot be done within a family in a small piece of land. Which means with our present policy of household production and small peasant economy, we cannot get it done. Similar to the construction of resvoirs and canals, we need to organize the farmers or else no one will build the system. Moreover, the scattered houses and tombs have messed up the land. In the collective farm of Israel, the drip irrigation system can only be built in big collective farm. So it is not a economic problem, and not a technical problem, but a problem of rural system.

Environmental crisis rather than developmental crisis

However, Wind on water, pointed out that money and development cannot solve the water shortage problem. Water is best stored underground.


We have been singing the song of “small peasant economy” and “market economy” without realizing that the water crisis has already threaten our survival. The government officials continue to say that we have money, we can give peasant money as water subsidy. They still that money can solve the problem. However, money can make thing worse, and increase the speed in exhausting our natural water reserve. Monetarism is destroying human's survival.

Another omen?

Last year during the spring festival, the southern part of China was hit by a serious snowstorm, followed by an earthquake; this year, it is the drought. People are worried that there are more disasters to follow. A post has been circulating in the internet saying that the drought may be a sign for another series of earthquakes. Littlepjy has copied the post in her blog.


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