River town in east China unitedly combats flooding

DM Monitoring

NANCHANG: Though incessant downpours continue to wreak havoc in many parts of China, Cheng Hainan and his fellow villagers in Jiangzhou Town in the city of Jiujiang, east China’s Jiangxi Province, are confident of safeguarding their homeland.
As a town hemmed in by the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway, Jiangzhou has a history of enduring multiple floods. Locals could vividly recall how every family had to send people to patrol the levees during the flood season.
In recent years, the town, with a total population of more than 40,000, has continued to step up the construction of water conservancy facilities to boost its flood control capacity.
With generations of villagers like Cheng joining the fight against flooding every year, they have explored a set of effective flood control measures. “As soon as the water level rises, we begin to keep vigil,” said 59-year-old Cheng, who is experienced in flood control.
During the flood season, patrollers use long bamboo poles to remove weeds from the levees around Jiangzhou Town, and carefully observe if there is a piping effect on the ground. Piping is the progressive development of an internal erosion by seepage, appearing downstream as a hole discharging water.
“This is our own way to find out the potential risks on the levees,” Cheng said. “It is a big responsibility for us and the work allows for no sloppiness.”
Whenever the water level at Jiujiang Station along the Yangtze is two meters below the warning level, Jiangzhou Town will prepare itself to battle the flood, Cheng said.
Chen Shichao, Party chief of the town, said the town has established a four-tier flood-control command system comprising one headquarters, six command posts, 15 command teams and 171 watchhouses. Four villagers and one cadre have been tasked with patrolling the area near each watchhouse on the levees each day.