Decade-long green efforts bring promising results along Wujiang of the upper Yangtze River

Decade-long green efforts bring promising results along Wujiang of the upper Yangtze River


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“When I was young, there were but bare mountains around. The wind ravaged the land with sand and the rain took the fertile soil away. The potatoes we grew were only the size of eggs. The well also dried up and we had to walk 20 to 30 minutes to get water,” said Wang Xuefang in Haique Village along the banks of Wujiang River, the biggest tributary on the south bank of upper Yangtze River.

Realizing that sound ecological environment is just as important as economic development, the local government has been committed to forestation. The forest coverage rate of Haique Village of southwest China’s Guizhou province has improved from 5% to over 77%.

As the largest river of Guizhou, the Wujiang River nourishes many villages like Haique Village. The utilization of water resources of the Wujiang River basin and the protection of water ecology restored the beauty of the Wujiang River and provided the region with rich tourism resources. Down the Wujiang River, places including Wujiang Gallery Scenic Area in Huawu village and Wujiang Village Resort in Zunyi received swarms of tourists in recent years.

On the rippling surface of the Wujiang River, traditional style tourist boats vanish into the distance against the backdrop of green mountains. “At high season of tourism, numerous boats are lined up on the river. It’s quite magnificent!” Chang Kailin, First Secretary of Huawu Village of southwest China’s Guizhou province, said. Chang added, “In recent years, Guizhou went all out to improve the ecological governance of the Wujiang River. Now that the ecology gets better, tourists are coming in numbers.”

Yang Yuyong, a villager who used to earn a living outside Guizhou, had his eye on such potential, and started to run boat tour business in his hometown. “Wujiang River is getting better everyday, and so is our business. We can earn more than RMB 100,000 in just four months. There are more and more young people like me coming home now!”

Wujiang Village Resort started trial operation at the beginning of 2022 and has grown from an obscure place to a tourism attraction receiving over 10,000 people times per day during the 2023 Spring Festival holiday.

Beautiful night view of Wujiang Village Resort. (Courtesy of Wujiang Village Resort)

Before its completion, the Wujiang Village Resort was home to dilapidated traditional houses. Now, villagers in the neighborhood have all benefited from the development of tourism. “Our family can earn in total around RMB 15,000 every month, which is much more than what we got from farming,” said Zhu Tao.

Ecology is origin of developing Wujiang River tourism and thus “co-existence” has become the guiding principle of constructing Wujiang Village Resort. According to He Mingliang, a staffer of Wujiang Village Resort, before 2014, the locals would directly discharge their domestic wastewater into the river nearby. For that, Wujiang Village Resort planned and constructed the sewage treatment plant.

“The water coming out of the sewage treatment plant gets fully utilized through the self-circulation system of Wujiang Village Resort and becomes a part of the landscape. It is also used for irrigation of green plants and crops in the Wujiang Village Resort. The absorption and filtration by the ground surface can improve the overall water quality to nearly Class III, ensuring that neither the lower reaches of the natural ecological channel nor the waters of Wujiang River are polluted, which achieves the harmonious co-existence between human and nature,” said He Mingliang.