China has effectively controlled water loss and soil erosion in Loess Highlands, the most grave eco-problem plaguing northwest China, thanks to a project involving an investment of 2.1 billion yuan (US$253 million).
With US$150 million funded by loans from the World Bank (WB) and the rest from Chinese sources, the project has so far brought a total of 4,843 sq km of affected areas under control in 22 counties and seven cities in northwestern Shaanxi and Gansu provinces and Shanxi provinces and Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in north China.
The water and soil conservancy in the Loess Highlands, launched in 1994, is the first project of its kind implemented in China using loans from overseas financial institutions.
The great endeavors have paid off, increasing the annual grain output in areas covered by the project to 700,000 tons from 430,000 tons in the past, and the net income of local peasant farmers by threefold to 1,263 yuan (US$152).
(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2004)