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Drought hampers water supplies in SW China

(Xinhua)

08:43, February 07, 2012

KUNMING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The southwestern province of Yunnan, especially the rural areas of the provincial capital Kunming, are suffering from drought as scant rainfall has fallen there since the start of January.

The drought has left almost 480,000 people and 230,000 heads of cattle short of drinking water in the province, said Li Xi, vice mayor of the Kunming, on Monday.

The drought has also dried up 89 reservoirs, 30 rivers and devastated crops, Li said.

"We are facing a severe challenge regarding supplies of drinking water and agricultural production," he said.

The government has earmarked 130 million yuan (20.6 million U.S. dollars) as a special fund to combat the drought, he said.

The government has also been encouraging the city's residents to restrict their water usage, he added.

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