indiamonsoon

India drought: ‘330 million people affected’

At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has told the Supreme Court

Authorities say this number is likely to rise further given that some states with water shortages have not yet submitted status reports.

The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India with temperatures crossing 40C for days now.

An 11-year-old girl died of heatstroke while collecting water from a village pump in the western Maharashtra state.

Yogita Desai had spent close to four hours in 42C temperatures gathering water from the pump on Sunday, local journalist Manoj Sapte told the BBC.

She began vomiting after returning home and was rushed to hospital, but died early on Monday.

Yogita’s death certificate says she died of heatstroke and dehydration.

The pump was a mere 500m from her house, but a typical wait for water stretches into hours.

India is heavily dependant on monsoon rains, which have been poor for two years in a row.

The government said that nearly 256 districts across India, home to nearly a quarter of the population were impacted by the drought.

Schools have been shut in the eastern state of Orissa and more than 100 deaths due to heatstroke have been reported from across the country, including from the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which saw more than 2,000 deaths last summer.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

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