Unsan County in North Phyongan Province is surrounded by high and low mountains on all sides and has a dense network of rivers. Therefore, it was prone to flooding in the rainy season and the local people would blame the mountains and rivers and were always envious of lowland people.
But now all these became a thing of the past.
According to Ri Tok Jun, vice-chairman of the county people’s committee, they began to pay close attention to land management when the county suffered from a catastrophic flood in July eight years ago.
At that time, the embankments collapsed after more than 470mm of heavy rain came and thus the county was literally turned into ruins.
After experiencing the disaster, the locals pledged to build rock-firm banks so that such a tragedy would not happen again.
Strong embankments were built in different parts of the county including the county town which is located at the joining place of the Kuryong River and the Uhyon River, with the result that they gathered a rich harvest by reclaiming large acreages which had been lost in disasters.
The thousands-of-metres-long embankment of the Kuryong River became more than two metres higher than before and a 12-metre-wide road bypassing the county town was built on it.
The county upgrades eight kilometres of roads every year according to a prospective plan.
In the course of this, it has improved many roads and passes, especially those in the county town and the Unsan-Hyangsan, Unsan-Pakchon and Sakju-Kujang roads.
The multi-storey houses and public buildings in unique styles stand in rows along the roads stretching out straight and evenly and new species of turf, various kinds of roadside trees, flowerpot stands and flower beds bedecked with flowers in different colours add charm to the changed looks of the county.
The general view of the county town is as graceful as a picture.
It has cultural and welfare facilities including a gymnasium, schoolchildren’s hall and youth park as well as nicely furnished primary and senior middle schools.
The Unsan County Catfish Farm takes advantage of the county’s rich hot spring resources to produce catfish that contributes to enriching local people’s diet.
In August last year the county got a heavy rain which was almost three times as much as the one eight years ago, but the firm embankment remained unperturbed.
“As we build our liveable place by our own efforts, we no longer envy the lowlands or cities. This is our home village,” said a resident of the county.