The Chinese government has given Zimbabwe 300 wells to help relieve the latter’s current drought. The drought, caused by El Nino, is the most severe one that has occurred in Zimbabwe since 1992. Distributed across different parts of the country, the wells relieve a pressing and urgent need for water.

Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a national emergency on Oct. 28, restricting water supplies in urban areas. As a result, the search for water has become a daily routine for locals, some of who spend hours pumping the remaining water from undried rivers, wells and reservoirs. However, unpurified and unsanitary water is a potential threat to the health of citizens.

Currently, only 42 percent of reservoirs in Zimbabwe contain water, 8 percent below the normal level. Meanwhile, the underground water level is also 20 meters lower than average, at 100 meters below the ground. Half of the wells provided by China have already been drilled, and the remaining 150 will be finished soon.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)