(ECNS) -- Patigul Yasin is a desertification control worker at Qiemo County, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Qiemo County is situated on the southern rim of the Taklimakan Desert, with two thirds of its territory severely affected by desertification.
In 2005, following her father's last wish, the 23-year-old Patigul began working in the Taklamakan Desert, China's largest desert.
Patigul and her colleagues planted a protective forest belt extending more than 20 kilometers with a width of 1 to 7 kilometers, blanketing an area of 125,000 mu (8,333 hectares) of drifting sand dunes. Patigul initially thought sand control was similar to discovering treasure in a movie.
Yet she was shocked by the tough work. Patigul and her peers had to carry shovels and saplings more than thirty or forty kilometers across the desert in one day.
Frequent heavy sandstorms in the spring and surface temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius in the summer shook Patigul's faith. Whenever she felt confused, Patigul would remember her father's last encouragement and regain her resolve.
She has inhabited her position for 16 years. At present, more than 1.5 million people have joined combating desertification in Qiemo County.
Shifting sand dunes have been turned into green land after the efforts of generations.
One day, there will be no more bleak and desolate landscape here, Patigul said. She believes, with China's successful experience of sand control, more corners of the Earth will regain full vitality.