Zhengzhou, the capital city of north-central China’s Henan Province, is currently a sandy mess. Officials wanting to create an artificial lake on the outskirts of the city have botched things up so bad that it’s turned into a sprawling desert instead. The sand is everywhere – about 10 meters high and covering an area as large as four football fields. Naturally, Zhengzhou’s residents aren’t pleased.
The idea was nice to begin with – the officials planned to make a beautiful lake on the outskirts of the city by tapping a natural water source called Dragon Lake and removing hundreds of thousands of tons of sand around it. Unfortunately, nature did not play along with the plan. The underground water source dried up and all the dug-up sand began to spread. It has now resulted in a large wasteland of parched earth in the area.
Sun-Yat Foo, a critic of the scheme, said: “It is a triumph of central planning where everything that could have gone wrong did.” What was supposed to be a green landscape has turned into an ecological disaster. Dragon Lake is now surrounded by huge dunes made of loose, drifting sand that is killing the vegetation in the area. The sand is also carried into the center of the city on hot and windy days, ruining cars and forcing people to wear face masks.
“The pile of sand is now 100 ft. in some places,” said Sun-Yat. “The local government does not take any protective measures for it at all. During a recent holiday high wind brought flying dust and sand, making it hard for us to open our eyes when we’re outdoors.”
“No one wants to do business around here with this desert on their doorstep,” a commercial tenant added. Authorities are currently looking for solutions to this environmental disaster, but judging by the size of these sand dunes, I doubt it’s going to be resolved any time soon.
Source: People.com (Chinese)