Huang Dafa (right) spent 36 years persuading and then leading villagers to build 10 kilometers of waterways. [Photo by Pang Lingfeng/China Daily]
Even afterward, sometimes, nobody was willing to, villager Huang Binchun recalls.
"We eventually persuaded some young men," the 53-year-old recalls.
"The tasks were precarious and hard. Some nights, we slept in caves on the cliff. Everybody worked together. And we completed the channel."
The villagers spent a decade boring more than 100 meters through one peak－in vain.
Their determination was abundant. Their understanding of irrigation wasn't.
The water didn't flow.
But residents still use the tunnel as a passageway to walk through－rather than over－the mountains.
Just like Yu Gong.
Huang later spent a few years studying water-system engineering in Zunyi's Fengxiang town.
He returned to Caowangba and asked the villagers to try again. They agreed.