Combating Desertification: Inspirational Chinese Model!

By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune
Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Combating Desertification in China"Thanks to research and concerted efforts, the country has successful transformed some of her hitherto dry lands in Ningxia Province to irresistible liveable areas.
As Cameroon and other African countries strive to fight back dreadful desertification that is fast encroaching and compromising even insufficient
arable lands, it wouldn’t be folly inquiring how others do especially where success is being attained. It even pays comparing strategies with a country that is transforming yesteryears’ deserts to fertile arable lands today conducive for quality and sustainable agriculture.
In Ningxia Autonomous Province, one of China’s desert-scary areas (31 per cent of the land threatened by desertification), concerted efforts in place to win back the land for much-needed agriculture, human habitation and industrial development are paying off. Through Lingwu Baijitan National Nature Reserve Administration, Ningxia, local government authorities have invested in research whose results are quit visible today.
One of the techniques used here is wedging Grass Grid into migratory sands. Experts say the grids increase the roughness of the surface and curtail wind force as well as conserve and increase the water content of the sands. Wei Meng, the Deputy Director of Administrative Bureau of the National Reserve, told Cameroon Tribune in the desert that the technique is beneficial to the survival of planted vegetation.
What follows the planting of the grids is in-depth afforestation thanks to which migratory sand dunes are fixed and transformed into oases with huge ecological and economic benefits to the population. Experts in desertification control told this reporter in the Reserve that as a result of the concerted efforts coupled with constant research, water evaporation has been reduced by 26 per cent and the organic content of the soil increased by 199 per cent with the forest vegetation coverage reaching 40.6 per cent.
“Great achievements have been made. There is an afforestation area of 42,000 hectares and a desertification control area of over 66,000 hectares. A green barrier of trees, 48 km long and 60 km wide, has emerged here and effectively prevents the desert from extending,” Wei Meng said. Besides researching on the tree species and grids needed for the desertification control, the local government equally contracts private firms to do the planting. Payment of the contract is systematic and in function of how well what is planted is growing.
This limits wastes and carelessness. As such, yesteryear’s deserts are fast being transformed into industrial areas and farmlands with fruits of all sorts growing therein. These and other industrial growth in the hitherto arid lands in 2014 fetched a GDP of 275 billion Yuan to China. 


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