Sandstorms are frequent and water is scarce in Pi shan County, the Sinkian Uighur Autonomous Region.
commune members lay bricks
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Background: Sandstorms are frequent and water is scarce in Pi shan County, the Sinkian Uighur Autonomous Region. The county lies on the southern border of the Taklamakan Desert where water used to be sold like a commodity on market days before liberation. The area produced very little grain before.
Since 1957, however, a stubborn struggle with the sand, wind and drought has been launched by the various national minorities inhabiting Pi Shan County. Up to 1965, more than 5,100 irrigation canals laid out with pebbles had been either constructed or renovated, bringing huge quantities of snow-water to the parched land.
The availability of water has made Pi Shan county into a productive, agricultural area. The yield of cereal crops has been on a steady increase for the pst nine years and since 1958, the county has become self-sufficient in grain for the first time in its history. The income of the commune members has also doubled as compared with 1956.