China will launch water conservation programs in 274 small river
valleys to restore the marred ecological system with loans from the
World Bank in 2006, according to a Chinese water resources
Deputy director of the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee
Xiong Tie told Xinhua in a recent interview that the six-year
program will cover 274 small river valleys which saw nearly half of
their soil damaged due to irrational land exploration.
Xiong said that the treated areas along China's longest river
the Yangtze, and the third longest river Pearl, will cover the
three provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Hubei and the Chongqing
Municipality. The total investment will add up to 1.62 billion yuan
Of the investment, US$100 million will be funded by a World Bank
loan and the rest will be covered by financing sourced by the
Chinese government and donations from the European Union, said
According to research by the committee, soil erosion has
consumed 3,430 square km of land in the river valleys, accounting
for 47.5 percent of the total land space in the 274 small river
reaches of 37 counties and cities.
Soil erosion has become a major bottleneck hindering sustainable
development in areas. Nearly half of the 37 counties and cities are
poverty-stricken and dependent on relief funds from the central
government to sustain rural life.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2005)