Solar power can ease China's drought

Feature Story - 2010-04-08
Half a dozen Greenpeace workers are in Yunnan. You can spot us by the bright orange jackets. What are we doing there?

Greenpeace activists and local farmers celebrate the successful installation of solar pumps in Yunnan.

The drought that has gripped southern China is also causing power shortages because so much of the region depends on hydroelectricity.

Greenpeace are donating and helping to set up water pumps powered by the energy of the sun for some villagers in Yunnan.

These farmers are from Maide village and they want to grow cabbages in the dried basin of the Maojiacun Resevoir.

Climate change will bring more drought

The drought has been linked with climate change, deforestation and water pollution.

Whatever the cause, the fact remains China's drought is man-made and is a chilling reminder of what climate change has in store for the whole globe unless we revolutionise the way we make and use energy.

Solar-powered spray

Zheng Mingqing (pictured right), climate and energy campaigner, is one of our Greenpeace activists in Yunnan.

Here he describes his feelings as he helped the villagers set up the solar-powered pumps.

It was very early in the morning -- about 7:30 am -- that we started setting up the pumps and you couldn't even see the sun at that time. We were on the bottom of the reservoir and a chilly wind was blowing. My hands were freezing! All I could think about was hoping the sun would hurry up and come out. It wasn't just to warm my body, but also without the sun the water pumps wouldn't work. As soon as the sunlight appeared I felt so happy. We were succesful!

Mingqing is no stranger to the wonders of solar power. (In this story he takes a shower in a solar-powered shower in northeast China).

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