ponds and lakes dotting the pasture, but thanks to an im

ponds and lakes dotting the pasture, but thanks to an im

anks to an improved ecosystem, fish are returning to those waters.

The 38-year-old says his father once grazed his flock in this area of northwest China’s X

injiang Uygur autonomous region, which he described as being “barren and more like a desert back in the day”.

The Tarim River runs 1,321 kilometers along the rim of the barren Tarim Basin, a sparsely populated area about the size of Poland.

Excessive irrigation in the past used up too much water, which caused the lower 400 km of t

he Tarim River to run dry in the early 1970s and pushed surrounding trees to the verge of disappearance.

Born in the village of Yengisu by the dried-up river, Ahmat never saw the water as a child. Sa

nd would slowly cover the caked riverbed. To find water, Ahmat’s family and flock had to move 200 km north.

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