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Stories of Sand Control

By Dana Kennedy,2014-02-17 20:24
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Stories of Sand Control

    Stories of Sand Control

    toriesofSandContro

    

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    BystaffreporterZHANGXUEYING ^,

    

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    passersbyoranyotherlivingthingfor hundredsofmilesotherthanus.Idecid. edtobringsomegreenintoourliving environment."Green.however,isex

    pensiveinthedesert.YinYuzhen'sfam. ilyassetscomprisedonelambandone threeleggedgoat.Yinsoldthegoatfor 600saplingsin1986,andplantedthem aroundherhouse.Shewateredthemev

    erydayand,ayearlater,morethan100

    hadsurvived.Thistriumphencouraged Yininherresolvetobuildagreenliving environment.

    Lackingthecashtobuymoresap

    lings,YinborrowedRMB300fromher parentsandboughtseveralpigletsto generatesomeincome.Whenherhus

    bandwentout1aboring.heaskedtobe paidinsaplings.Daytimetemperatures reach40.Conhighsummerdays.which meantthatYuzhenandherhusbandhad togetupveryearlyinthemorningto waterthesaplings.Afterafewdays, greenandtendershootsappearedon theirstems.Butonedreadfulmorning thecoupleawoketofindthatalltheir saplingshadbeenburiedovernighton

    dermovingsanddunes.

    ThisdisasterpromptedYintodo someresearchintosandfixingtechnol

    ogy.Atiercarefulobservationsanda littlepractice.shedrewupadetailed saplingwateringschedulethatavoided bothdroughtandwaterlogging.Yinnot

    edthatsaplingsshouldnotbeplanted toodensely,becauseastheyabsorbev

    erylastdropofwaterfromthesoil.they soondie,anddesertificationcontinues. Asyearswentby,theenvironment aroundYin'shousegraduallyturned

    green.By2000,shehadplantedsome 2.666hectaresoftreesinthesurround

    ingarea.Unfortunatelyabigsandstorm occurredthatyearwhichkilledhalfof thesaplingsshehadsopainstakingly cultivated.ButYindidn'tgiveupheref- f0rtstobeautifyherlivingenvironment. Herhouseisnowsurroundedby4,000 hectaresofgreentrees.Theyhaveposi

    tivelyinfluencedtheclimate,andsand

    stormsarelessfrequent."WhenIfirst cametolivehere.1wouldawakewith agrittymouthandeyeseverymorning. Now,onlyathinlayeroffineyellowdust canbeseenontheoutsidewindowsil1. Thingshavechangeddramatically,"Yin remarks.Thesenewtreeshavebrought moreraintothearea,whichhelpstoes

    calatethesaplingsurvivalrateandcrop harvest.Improvementsinlivingcondi

    tionshavealsofollowed.Houseshave beenrebuilt,andYin'sfamilynowearns morethanRMBl00.000annually.from cropcultivationalone.

    BuildinganEcoIogicaIIy

    FriendlyCommunity

    OrdosisanothercityinInnerMongo

    liathatiSthreatenedbydesertificatiOn. Itcoversanareaof87,000squarekilo

    meters,almosthalfofwhichisdesert.

Ordosresidentshavetakenaseriesof

    fansoldagoatfor600saplingsandplantedthemaround herhouse.Ayear/atermorethan100hadsurvived. Herdsmenplantsandwillow{Salixpsammophila)tofixthesandyterrain

    一一er__CHINAT0DAY?21

    AsandbarrierinHangginBanneEOrdos,InnerMongolia TheintroductionO{newgrassstrainsandsand controllingtechnologyhaspalpablyimprovedthe livitlgstandardsoffarmersandherdsnlet1. Farmersandherdersrepairasandbarrier measurestoharnesstheecologicalenvi

    ronmentofthecitysincethe1990s.

    In2003.aSwedishecologicaltown

    modewasintroducedto0rdos.Each

    houseinthenewlybuiltresidential

    communityisjnstalledwithanewstyle

    twopittoilet.TheexcrementpitiSfitted withamoveablestainlesssteelplate.

    Whenflushed,notwater,butsawdust

    issues.Thestainlesssteelplateautomat

    icallytipsitscontentsintoastorageba

    sinatthebottomofthebuilding,where

    itrefinesintomanurethatiSusedtofer- tilizefarmland.UrineiSchanneledfrom itspitanddilutedbeforebeingusedto

    irrigatethefields.

    type Theprojectmanagerofthisdry

    toiletstatesthatitcutsdownwatercon

sumptionbyonethirdThisiSofgreat

    significancetoanaridcitysuchas0r. dos.whoseannualrainfalliSlessthan 400mmUsinghumansewageasfenil

    izeravoidstheenvironmentaldamage incurredbyexcessiveuseoffertilizers andalsoreducestheamountofwater neededforagriculture.

    Theresidentialcommunityhasalso installedgarbageandwastewatertreat

    mentequipment.Organicwastesare transfefredtothefertilizerplantand processedtogetherwiththemanure, anddomesticsewageiSbiologically processed.Ifitmeetstherequiredirri. gationwaterstandard,watereddown

    urineiSusedtowatertreesandplantsin theresidentialandsurroundingareas. GrassfromAustralia

    InnerMongoliahasthelargestarea ofgrasslandinChina,butthedecrease inprecipitationandhighertemperatures inrecentyearshavedriedupitsrivers andthegrasslandhasbeenchokedwith sand.Satellitemonitorsshowtheextent towhichthetwolinkinggrasslandsin HorqinYouyiFrontBannerandHing

    ganLeagueSUfferfromseriousdesert encroachment."Desertificationofgrass

    landinInnerMongoliahasworsenedin

    recentyears,"saysWangZilin,director 22?CHINATODAY,?:eme

oftheSinoAustraliaInnerMongolia

    PastureHarnessingProject."Ithasaf_ fectedtheclimateoftheregionaswell asthelivingstandardofthepeople. Moreover,itconstitutesathreattothe ecologicalsafetyofnorthernChina.'' Toarrestthesituation,

    theproject

    executivesboughtgrassseedsfrom Australiaandotheraridregions. After

    sometests,theyfinallychose10strains ofdroughtresistant,fastgrowinggrass. Theyprovideforageforgrazingsheep andcattleandalsoinhibitthemovement ofsanddunes.Thenextproblemtobe tack1edwasthatofrestrictinglivestock numbersonthegrassland,

    asovergraz

    ingisanothermajorcauseofdesertifica

    tion.Theprojecttargetistorestrictthe numberoflivestockonthegrasslandand improvetheirunityield.Anewstrainof goathasrecentlybeenbredthatdoubles cashmereproductionoutput,thusin

    creasingthelocalfarmers'incomewhile controllinglivestocknumbers.

    Theintroductionofnewgrassstrains andsandcontrollingtechnologyhas palpablyimprovedthelivingstandards offarmersandherdsmen.Theremain

    ingchallengeisthatofheighteningthe grasslandecologyawareness.

    "Inthecourseofimplementingour projectwerealizedthattheeffortsofour projectofficecanonlydosuchmuch, andthatachangeinlifestyleofgrass

    1andresidentsistheonlywaytobring aboutafundamental,beneficialchange intheecology,"saysWang.

    "Wehave

    workedtogetherwiththelocaleduca

    tlonbureau,women'sfederationanden. vironmentalprotectionorganizationsto help1ocalfarmersandherdsmensolve theirpracticallivingandproduction diculties.atthesametimespreading knowledgeaboutgrasslandecology protection.''

    Theprojecthasalreadyshownsome results:greencoveragehasincreased from20to70percentinHingganLeague. Itmightnotbelongbeforewildliferuns freeonthegrasslandoncemore.

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