Songchon County of South Phyongan Province is situated in a relatively low area with many mountains and rivers. It has the Piryu River, the second longest tributary of the Taedong River, and ten odd rivers that join it.

Until a decade ago, the county suffered damage from flood in rainy seasons. Many farmland and roads were submerged and the local people felt difficulties in their farming and living. People in the county keenly felt that they could neither be free from the vicious cycle nor achieve prosperity if they only blamed given conditions and environment and waited for a miracle to occur, and buckled down to land administration.

Technicians conducted a field survey of all the rivers and streams and mountainous areas in the county to get the details of water courses and their passage amounts and worked out a reasonable and practical design of river improvement.

The county set forth the afforestation for erosion control as its long-term task for the regional economic development and the improvement of people’s living, and pressed on with it under the annual plans. Officials and workers of all the institutions, enterprises and cooperative farms and local residents turned out in the efforts to free their home villages and workplaces from natural disasters. They dug out river-beds, reinforced and erected embankments, and planted trees and turfs every year.

They also carried out a stone covering of tens of thousands of square metres for the both banks of the Piryu River meandering through the county seat and planted good species of trees, thus freeing the township from floods and adding beauty to scenery.

Thanks to their efforts, over 130 hectares of farmland were restored to its original state, nearly 1 200 hectares of cold and humid land improved and several thousand hectares of farmland protected from floods. More than 20 bridges were newly constructed or reconstructed, the revetment projects carried out, and culverts and water pipes replaced in many parts of the roads in the county.

The county paid a great attention to increasing forest resources and conserving ecological environment based on the detailed investigation of actual conditions of afforestation and soil conditions. To this end, a modern parent tree nursery was built at the County Forestry Management Station to produce by stage saplings necessary for covering the whole county with fruit and other trees and flowers. A plant-growing activator which was developed by the county itself contributed to increasing the survival rate of the trees.

While pushing forward the land administration and environmental conservation, the county built low-rise apartment buildings and rural dwelling houses for several thousand households in the township and farm villages and laid out parks in the places in which the historical relics and remains are well preserved. Not content with their laurels, the people in Songchon County strive hard to build theirs into a place more beautiful and better to live in for the coming generations.

Photo: Ri Myong Guk Text: Pak Pyong Hun