Kubuqi Desert is the seventh biggest desert in China that has been transformed into an enviable environment.
Authorities in Kubuqi Desert Community in northern China’s Inner Mongolia are proud enough to tell good stories about the transformation of a once solely desert area into an enviable paradise on earth.
It was in 2016 when Wenbiao Wang, Chairman of China Elion Resources Group, assured that he would control 10,000 square kilometres desertification in five years and help 100,000 people get out of poverty which is the development affirmation and concern of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government. Since 2016, Elion Group has launched the second desertification control eco-industrial poverty alleviation plan for100, 000 people.
The authorities have so far succeeded in bringing 36, 000 people from poverty out of 102,000 poor people since the 18th CPC National Congress.
Zhao Yong, Vice Chief Executive Officer of Elion Group said government’s policy support, enterprise’s industrial investment, poor household’s market participation, and biological persistence improvement are the key mechanisms that have helped a lot in transforming the Desert Community.
Kubuqi Desert was a barren land with no water, electricity, or future, nearly 30 years ago. To alleviate poverty through desertification control, Elion Resources Group (ELION) has successfully afforested an area of over 6,000 square kilometres out of 18, 000 square kilometres by means of technological innovation, leading to a 95 percent decrease in sand-dust weather and an increase by six times in precipitation in Kubuqi.
Local authorities are cooperating with companies including Elion to give people opportunities to increase their income following the central government’s command.
It was in 2006 that Elion started implementing a scheme moving to house the herdsmen who were scattered across the 400 square kilometres of the Kubuqi Desert by implementing eco-migration.
Farmers were, therefore, paid 30 yuan (US$ 4.43) daily to do so, which initially proved worthwhile because of the motivation it gave, but the lack of adequate knowledge soon defeated the plan as less and less trees survived with time.
Now the about 100,000 people not only have permanent residences built for them free of charge, but they have well-paid jobs, alternative livelihoods and regular incomes of not less than 30,000 yuan (US$ 4,425.63) annually.
African journalists Give a helping hand on Tree planting in a Forest Farm
Generally, desertification and drought are two major problems that constrain the balanced global development. In China, two thirds of the territory is in the West and one third of it is desert, in which one third of China’s poor people live.
“Combating desertification by utilizing desert and to promote economic development in desert communities to bring prosperity to all the people in these areas have become an important issues for development of China’s western regions and China’s goal of common prosperity,” says Zhao Yong during the visit of African Journalists to Kubuqi Desert.
Abu Bakarr Kargbo is a Senior Staff Writer of Standard Times Newspaper in Sierra Leone and an intern at the People’s Daily Online.