CULTURE The sands of time blow toward a greener world

CULTURE

The sands of time blow toward a greener world

China Daily

12:18, October 30, 2021

The couple walk into the desert for their daily sand control. REN SHICHEN/FOR CHINA DAILY

"I can't turn the desert into an oasis, but I'm working hard to prevent any oasis from degrading into desert," says 78-year-old Wang Tianchang in Hongshui village, Changcheng township, Liangzhou district, Wuwei city, in Northwest China's Gansu province.

Adhering to the belief that "only by containing the sand, our children and grandchildren will survive and thrive", Wang and his wife Li Lanying have been stationed in the Tengger Desert for 22 years, voluntarily tackling sand encroachment and planting more than 8,000 acres. They have helped turn the once endless desert into an oasis.

In the spring of 1999, the then 56-year-old Wang put forward the idea of afforestation in the Tengger Desert. Strongly opposed by his family and ridiculed by the villagers, Wang secretly sold the family's cattle, sheep and camels. With the collected money, the couple brought their tents and sand control tools to the desert.

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