Next to the dried out Quintu lake, a door curtain flaps in what used to be someone's front door. The remains of village life have slowly been consumed and swallowed by the desert. Only a few decades ago this area was completely habitable with productive farmland. Around the city of Wuwei there are now several places built specifically for desertification refugees. During the past ten years, many villages have been abandoned in the northern part of Minqin as the desert boundaries increase.