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A want for water leads to village's prosperity

By Luo Wangshu Source: China Daily Updated: 2021-08-09


Huang Dafa walks along the side of the Dafa Canal in Caowangba village, Zunyi, Guizhou province, in 2018. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Huang Dafa was determined to create canal in hometown

An elderly man from a remote village deep in mountains became well-known nationwide for building a canal to bring water to local residents.

The man, 85-year-old Huang Dafa, has lived his entire life in Caowangba village in Zunyi, Guizhou province.

For 36 years, he dedicated himself to one thing-leading villagers to create and then maintain a 9.4-kilometer-long "life canal" along the side of karst mountains to bring fresh water to the village.

With the irrigation channel in place, people in Caowangba finally had sufficient drinking water and could irrigate rice and other crops, boosting their incomes and improving their quality of life.

The channel is named the "Dafa Canal" in Huang's honor.

On June 29, Huang became one of 29 people who received the July 1 Medal conferred by the Communist Party of China Central Committee to outstanding members.

Huang has been dubbed the modern "Yu Gong", a figure in China's folklore.

According to legend, Yu insisted on moving two mountains in front of his home so that he could lead a more convenient life.

Mocked and questioned by neighbors, Yu was nonetheless devoted to the task. Impressed by his efforts, gods helped him move the mountains.

Huang did not receive help from the gods, but his persistence made the impossible possible.

Born in 1936, both his parents died when he was young, so his neighbors brought him up.

Bringing water to Caowangba had been a long-cherished dream for the residents. Things started to change in 1959, when Huang became a leader in the village.

"I decided to do three things for the villagers: bring water to the village, build a road and provide access to electricity," Huang said, recalling his early days.

He found that a village near Caowangba had water to spare, but the problem was that a mountain lay between them. Nevertheless, he took on the task.

Things did not go well at first. Knowing very little about water conservancy, Huang was not able to build a workable canal, and after more than 10 years, water remained a pipe dream.

Although some people said that Caowangba would never get access to water, Huang never lost hope.

At the age of 53, while he was working temporarily at the local water management station, he started to study water conservancy technology on his own.

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