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NW China's Ningxia turns Mu Us Desert into oasis

(People's Daily Online)    16:59, August 13, 2020
NW China's Ningxia turns Mu Us Desert into oasis
Old scene of Maozhaizi village. (File photo)

Generations of local people in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have embarked on a journey of high-quality development that gives priority to ecology, and turned the Mu Us Desert into an oasis.

The Mu Us Desert covered an area of 11 million mu (about 0.74 million hectares) in Ningxia, accounting for 12.32 percent of the area of the Mu Us Desert and 59.8 percent of desertified land in Ningxia.

Ecological deterioration, barren land and blowing sands became this region’s main features. What’s more, as the desert is only four or five kilometers away from the east bank of the Yellow River, yellow sands used to pour into the river and even crossed it. The poor living conditions forced nearly 30,000 people from villages around Lingwu city to leave their homes.

Local people gradually realized there was an urgent need to change the status quo of the Mu Us Desert, and began to make persistent and unremitting efforts to bring about this change.

Bai Chunlan, an ordinary peasant woman, has brought about a miracle in sand control in this region. Over the past 40 years, Bai has planted nearly 100,000 trees and brought more than 3,800 mu of desert under control.

After years of experimenting, Bai came up with her own method of tree planting and developed 40 mu of irrigated land in the desert.

Wang Youde, a pioneer in applying scientific methods to sand control in Ningxia, has led hundreds of cadres and workers at Baijintan Wind Prevention and Sand Fixation Forest Farm in Ningxia in efforts to control sand for more than 40 years.

At present, there are 453 psammophytic species in Ningxia, a sharp increase from the initial 20 or so species. Ningxia plans to complete 5 million mu of afforestation by 2022, with the forest coverage rate increasing to 16 percent. 


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