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Restoring 100-year-old irrigation channel brings life to Nanpu
Mr. Chuang Ming-tseng, the head of Nanpu Village, said he has maintained a simple philosophy in carrying out his "century plan, " which he explains on a map with numerous hand-drawn red lines.
"Always be enthusiastic, and strive to regain our old glory," he says of efforts to restore the Nanpu irrigation channel, which he describes as the lifeline of Nanpu.The irrigation channel not only nurtures a perfect breeding ground for the area's four major crops but serves as the setting for glorious golden sunset scenes along the channel.The four major crop treated as "gold" by locals include rice, oranges, persimmon and sweet potatoes.
The dream being pursued by Chuang and the villagers is to restore the Nanpu irrigation channel and create a water resource that can contribute to the area's agricultural production, lifestyle, and ecological balance. The aim of the restoration plan is not only to repair the 100-year-old irrigation channel but use ecological engineering methods to construct levees, banks and wetlands in the middle of the channel to lay the foundation for the development of organic agriculture.
To achieve the goal, however, the villagers had to leave their farmland uncultivated for one year as the construction began, something that Chuang was unlikely to be able to persuade them to do.But the village head achieved the impossible by launching a campaign to boost the villagers' enthusiasm for the plan. He first urged people to voluntarily clean up the irrigation channel and then called on them to repair historical relics, such as a century-old water wheel. By engaging in the restoration process, the villagers have developed strong feelings about coexisting with their homeland, a sentiment that Chuang thinks is now their most valuable asset.
Once the current renovation goals are met, Chuang will pursue even greater ambitions. He wants to transform the old rural village into a state-of-the-art ecological village with underground power cables, solar energy systems and green building programs. He thinks the true meaning of rejuvenation is getting back to a basic farming lifestyle with the help of modern technology. The people in Nanpu can now hear the call of the water in the irrigation channel, Chuang says, and it has inspired them to continue moving forward together.