Female Cleanup Teams Protect Valuable River Resource

June 7, 2018  Editor: Qiao Ziyu
Members of the female cleaners' team clear up water grass in the river. [clady.cn]


Members of an all-female cleaners' team in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, have been cleaning pollutants from local river for over a decade, helping to protect local environment.
The team was set up in the Xishan District in the local city of Kunming in 1998 to reduce the amount of water grass in rivers.

Li Yunli, the leader of the team, said: "Water grass can purify the water quality when they are seedlings, however they rot when they grow up, which can pollute the river."

"Furthermore, the water grass grows fast, so we need to work 10 hours a day to clear it," Li added.

Protecting Environment

Li and her colleagues all live in Xinhe Village beside Dianchi Lake. They normally make a living by fishing. So, they were anxious when they saw the clear lake became polluted.

At that time, Li decided to clear the lake along with other women in the village.

"The most difficult and arduous thing is how to steer the boat, especially during the windy days, or when the temperature rises and the water grass grows faster than before," Li added.

There were over 80 members in the cleaners' team when the Dianchi was polluted heavily.

Zhao Fang, president of the women's federation of Xishan district, said: "Since 1988, Li and her colleagues have devoted themselves to protecting Dianchi's environment for 30 years."

Their hard efforts have also been recognized by the public, and they have won many honorary titles.

Team-based Women's Federation Established 
In March 2017, six sub-district offices in Xishan District organized seven women’s volunteer teams to undertake cleaning work. Each team takes its name from a different river.

Chen Weirong, leader of the Xiba River team, said: "We don't have as much work as Li's team, and our work is mainly about promoting relevant information."

"For example, we persuaded a man to stop catching crayfish in the river," Li Kunjin, who is the president of the women's federation in Zongshuying Sub-district Office, said.

The cleaners' team led by Chen has 12 members. In six months they have organized 27 activities with 746 volunteers taking part.

Liu Yan, who is the leader of the Daguan River team, added: "I believe our work can attract more people to participate in protecting the environment."

(Source: clady.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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