This is the story of two Chinese friends who work together for reforestation. Overcoming their respective disabilities, they managed to plant about 10,000 trees in almost 13 years!
This is a citizens’ initiative straight from China. It is a proof that Man can do anything thanks to perseverance and solidarity. The two childhood friends, Wengui and Haixia, were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Haixia, born blind in one eye, lost the other in 2000 because of an accident at work. As for Wengui, he lost his two arms at the age of three in an electric shock. However, these two inseparable friends depend on nobody to live. Even better, the fruit of their labor will be profitable to the entire region.
They started by renting a bare land
Faced with the need to find a means of subsistence, the two friends decided to rent a land from the Chinese government. The idea was to plant trees and to live with the income generated from the sale of wood. The leased land was bare and located by a river. Gradually, despite the incredulity and sometimes mockery of people in the region regarding the project, they started to prepare, plant and maintain tree shoots.
Lots of perseverance for little means
Having no money to buy tree shoots, the Chinese friends started using tree cuttings. Blind Haixia, 53 years old, was in charge of climbing trees to cut the best branches, while 52-year-old Wengui remotely guided him. Haixia learnt to work with the eyes of his friend. The two friends learnt to work together, finding in their solidarity solutions to the challenges they encounter.
The grown reduced floods
After ten years, and some 10,000 planted trees, the two friends proved their success. The bare land became green. The newly consolidated banks of the river protect better the surrounding villages from floods. The company of Wengui and Haixia allows them now to gain their living through the exploitation of timber. The villagers changed the way they treated them. Recently, they started to help the two friends in some tasks like watering the trees or cleaning the equipments.
Fruit of lots of effort and perseverance, the initiative of Wengui and Haixia is richly instructive. They managed to give an example of what can be achieved when humans work together with determination and solidarity.
The role of forest vegetation for water conservation is well known: the leaves intercept the rain, reducing the amount of water that reaches the soil and the impact of raindrops on the ground. The roots stabilize the soil and form channels that accelerate infiltration. (...) In general, forest cover reduces peak flows ensuring maximum infiltration, increasing groundwater flow at the detriment of surface flow; the transfer of basin’s sediments to the river is reduced.
Source : FAO
The Department of Forestry and waters has undertaken a generalization of reforestation across the entire territory, and therefore engaged, for over half a century, a reforestation policy that has gone through several stages for the protection, conservation and development of forests. During these stages, the National Reforestation Plan (NRP), adopted in 1970, has achieved reforestation objectives which were deemed modest and revised upwards within the Reforestation Master Plan (RDP) launched in 1994.
Source : HCEFLCD
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