China Issues Alert Over Likely Crop And Animal Diseases Breakout Following Record Flooding

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News in brief: Massive flooding in China has led to warnings of potential crop and animal diseases outbreak, with concerns about the impact on agriculture. Despite efforts to restore drinking water supplies after the severe flooding, sanitation challenges remain due to damaged wells and pipes in flooded areas.

China has issued warnings about likely breakout of crop and animal diseases, in the wake of massive flooding.

Many cities are yet to restore supplies of drinking water after its worst flooding in six decades which have left more than 30 people dead and 18 missing, according to media reports.

In recent weeks, provinces like Hebei, which borders Beijing, were struck by more than a year’s worth of rainfall brought about by storms that trailed Typhoon Doksuri. It affected autumn crops and damaged agricultural equipment and farmlands.

Authorities have been urged to take steps to prevent and control major possible disease outbreaks caused by dead animals, pests, and insects. Chinese agriculture minister, Tang Renjian, made the call while on inspection tour of the affected areas. He also called on local authorities to help reduce floodwaters from fields under cultivation to minimise crop losses.

Renjian added that the preventive measures are essential to ensure that the after-effects of recent flooding does not impede winter wheat planting.

The warnings come on the heels of the destruction of farms, including drowning of numerous pigs and sheep in flood waters. Meanwhile, the minister remarked that agricultural and rural departments at all levels should accurately assess how the disaster affected farmers and help them solve practical problems with the aim of preventing disaster-caused poverty or return to poverty.

To this end, health workers in Hebei have begun spraying disinfectants to prevent the spread of diseases.

However, sanitation and health issues pose serious challenges for many as clean water supplies were cut off in some rural areas. Numerous wells and water pipes were destroyed in flooded areas, compromising access to clean water and causing great concern for thousands.

The Chinese Water Resources ministry declared an emergency in response to quickly restoring drinking water supplies, including setting up supply points. Efforts in this regard have also included dispatching water trucks to places lacking clean water supply.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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