Sand-control helps villagers launch careers

Updated: 2017-09-26 (en.goordos.com) Print

People living in the Kubuqi Desert have improved their understanding of “desert” by practicing desertification control over the past several decades.


A forest in Kubuqi Desert [Photos/cri.cn]

The 18,600-square kilometer Kubuqi Desert is the country's seventh-largest sand area, covering the Hanggin Banner, Dalad Banner and Jungar Banner of Ordos in Northwest China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Chen Ningbu, a 68-year-old Mongol living in the desert recalled the old days and their feeling of helplessness: there was no medical service in their neighborhood and a pregnant woman might die halfway on her journey through the desert, unable to give birth.

Local people used to buy daily necessities twice a year and none of the modern vehicles, but only horse-drawn carriages, could be found in the desert, according to Chen.

Just as he decided to move away, a group of enterprises came to afforest the area and control soil loss. Things have changed since then.

Chen, like other villagers, didn’t seek temporary jobs outside his homeland but started to plant trees. These days he also plants crops and raises sheep on the desert under greatly improved ecological conditions.

“Now my yearly income is about 170,000 to 180,000 yuan ($25,680 – 27,190),” Chen said with pride, adding that he owns a house and car.

Sirenbabu (a Monoglian name in pinyin), a 40-year-old herdsman in the desert hinterland, owns a restaurant called “Grassland Welcome You”.

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