A flood prevention program targeting the lower reaches of the Yellow River is under way with loans of 240 million yuan (US$29 million) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The program started in early September will build new high areas and requires migration of 41,400 people in five counties of central China's Henan Province and east China's Shandong Province, according to the Yellow River Water Resources Committee.
The course of the Yellow River in its lower reaches is very wide, with the widest area some 20 kilometers. Most parts of the watercourse are arable in dry seasons. More and more people along the river have moved to the area and farm there since the Yellow River dike was breached in Lankao of Henan in 1855 and changed its route. Now the beach area of the Yellow River is home to 1.8 million people.
The beach area is an important flood route. As the riverbed of the Yellow River rose in the past ten years, a small amount of water flow can cause floods in the area.
According to the flood prevention program, 42 villages in the beach area will be formed into 11 large villages and high enough lands will be constructed to give better protection from floods.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2003)