The village of Caowangba is located deep in the heart of the mountains of Guizhou, a mountainous province in southwest China. Guizhou is known for its traditional rural villages, like Caowangba, wherein people thrive in a self-sufficient society. But like many rural villages, Caowangba has many problems in the past, especially when it comes to water.
Since the village was located thousands of feet high above the mountain, getting water was limited, that it was often distributed in rations. They desperately needed a water source to survive—and fast.
This prompted Caowangba’s chief, Huang Dafa to carve through the mountain since 1959, to create a canal leading to a water source.
In 1959, when Huang Dafa was just 23 years old, he started a legacy that will be forever carved in stone. They started carving the mountain, digging through rocks to create a tunnel in hopes to connect the village to a water source. Unfortunately, the first canal failed after 10 years of digging and carving. Huang Dafa needed knowledge about irrigation in order to fulfil his dream.
Huang Dafa left his village and headed for Fengxiang, where he learned how to be an engineer. He them went back to the village, with a revolutionary plan that will literally move mountains—he decided to build a 7,200-meter-long water canal in order to get water to his village.
To build a canal, villagers had to carve along the sheer cliffs of three karst mountains, dangerous work that involved climbing up the side of the mountains, tying themselves to trees, and rappelling hundreds of meters down the cliff to dig.
Fast-forward to 1995—and the majestic canal was finally finished. Not only did Huang Dafa save his village, but four other neighbouring villages as well! Learn about Huang Dafa’s legacy in the video below: