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Rural infrastructure inadequate

Updated: 2016-07-26 07:12
(China Daily)

Rural infrastructure inadequate

A man pushes a wooden basin in which his granddaugter sits through a flooded road at Lianhua village, Duchang county, East China's Jiangxi province, on June 27.[Photo/Xinhua]

In the latest floods across a large swathe of China, rural areas have been hit harder than urban areas in terms of their casualties, although the waterlogging of big cities has dominated the headlines.

Different from many cities whose infrastructure is rarely damaged by flooding and where there are few casualties, in rural areas the heavy rains and floods often cause severe damage and many casualties.

The collapse of a 70-meter-long section of a riverbank in a district of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, in early July, which caused six nearby villages to be submerged, was reportedly related to the lack of necessary measures to reinforce the river's banks.

Due to insufficient funds and other factors, the embankments of many small and medium-sized rivers and reservoirs are built to low standards, and some of them have been left unrepaired for decades.

This is common in rural areas for there have been no plans for the construction of flood prevention facilities or no implementation of any plan. And the building of houses near flood-directing channels, growing crops around them or even the direct dumping of garbage into these channels have reduced their capability to cope with heavy rainfall.

According to surveys, a majority of irrigation facilities in China's rural areas now fail to perform their purpose of irrigation and flood prevention.

This is also why some have called on the government to include the construction of flood prevention facilities into the plan for countryside construction, such as building drainage ditches alongside rural roads.

Weak irrigation facilities, along with the outflows of young people and the backward early-warning mechanism, have added to flood prevention difficulties in rural areas. The latest casualties some rural areas have suffered underscore the need for the country to improve the flood prevention infrastructure in the countryside as soon as possible.


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