In 2007, Ye was the only person left in her village. Her family and neighbours had all fled as the desert began to surround them. Ye had no choice but to stay, having no money to escape and living on her own since 1998. Asked in 2007 by Mark Lynas in his book 'High Tide', 'How long will you stay here?' she replied, 'Come back in five or ten years and I'll still be here. There's nowhere for me to go.'