Lankao county's continuing affair with Yellow River and development

Source: China Daily | 2023-09-11 18:49

From combating poverty to building a moderately prosperous society, Lankao county has achieved remarkable success and is embarking on a promising journey for future development.The view of a bank of the Yellow River in Lankao. Wang Kan/CHINA DAILY

Recognized as China's mother river or the cradle of the Chinese civilization, the Yellow River gave birth to the earliest Chinese civilization and nurtured the earliest Chinese people.

A Yellow River that is well harnessed has been the aspiration of the Chinese people for millennia. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have been passing down wisdom on how to deal with this mighty river, specifically how to adjust strategies so as to control its waters from overflowing.

The Yellow River has played a significant role in the history of Lankao county in central China's Henan province, providing both canals for irrigating its crops, as well as inundating people and property during devastating floods.

Lankao county is not very far from a flood-prone area on the southern bank of the Yellow River. In fact, the county was hit by some of the worst calamities, such as sandstorms, alkaline soil formation and floods in the 1950s-60s.

Bitter sacrifice by the people of Lankao strengthens their resolve to see new moons and new suns, says an inscription at the Jiao Yulu Memorial Hall. In the early 1960s, the heroic deeds of Jiao Yulu, a legendary cadre of the Communist Party of China, motivating people in Lankao county to combat extreme poverty touched people's hearts. Sent to Lankao county as party chief in 1962, Jiao devoted his energy to fighting economic backwardness, and mobilized local residents to contend with the poor natural conditions.

In order to build an eco-friendly Lankao county to accommodate the Yellow River in the new era, the county launched water conservancy projects in different phases. Reservoir and dam projects are crucial responses to climate change while river transition and water conservancy projects will help ensure water security.

Located in the northwestern area of Lankao county, the Erbazhai hydro project has played a significant part in irrigation while securing agricultural products, by preventing midstream sediments from flowing downstream. Additionally, appropriate design of the Erbazhai project also helps irrigate farmlands.

Zhao Fanyu, chief engineer of the Erbazhai hydro project that diverts the Yellow River's waters, said that the objective of the project is to flush out water for irrigation, carry out dredging for removing sediments and diversified water supply, while the mix of the project is sophisticated to coordinate with dozens of items like terrain adjustments, meteorological tower building and afforestation, which guarantee quality and efficiency.

Therefore, the reservoir and hydro projects are sprawled across the downstream area.

"Especially, the Xiaolangdi water control project in Henan province plays a crucial role in dredging the lower channel of the Yellow River, which is conducive to improving people's livelihoods and economic development in Lankao county," Zhao said.

Since the implementation of a series of integrated urban development and infrastructure projects, Lankao county has realized economic resilience over the past decades.

While walking through Lankao county's downtown one encounters an array of constructions along the broad and clean streets, a proof of its brush with reform and opening-up in the new era.