An employee of a poverty alleviation workshop drying traditional Chinese herbs. Picture: Xinhua
An employee of a poverty alleviation workshop drying traditional Chinese herbs. Picture: Xinhua

Past and present: Villagers in China’s Gansu province bid farewell to poverty, embrace new lives

By People’s Daily Online SA Time of article published Jun 23, 2021

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After shaking off poverty in 2019, Yuangudui village in Weiyuan county, Dingxi city, northwest China’s Gansu province, has taken on a new look.

The first step the village took to eliminate poverty was boosting construction of infrastructure. By the end of 2020, cement roads had been paved and led to the doors of every household in Yuangudui, and a hardened road was built to connect the village to the county seat. Under a relocation project, villagers living in uninhabitable areas were relocated to new homes at new settlements.

In the summer of 2015, the first phase of a water diversion project went into operation, giving 447 households in the village access to tap water. The project also benefited over 2 million people who had long been plagued by drought in cities including Dingxi and Baiyin.

Efforts were also made in the field of education. In 2013, the primary school of Yuangudui village was relocated to a new settlement that boasts brand-new schoolhouses and teaching facilities. All school-age children in the village now go to school.

“The children now have access to better facilities, and their parents attach more importance to their children’s education than they did before,” said Wa Yongfu, principal of the school.

This 2013 photo shows pupils running on the playground of the primary school of Yuangudui village, Weiyuan county, Dingxi city, northwest China’s Gansu province.
This photo taken last year shows the new school. Picture: Xinhua

Today, villagers have access to rural cooperative medical care, rural subsistence allowances, and elderly-care insurance schemes.

New industries such as the cultivation of lilies, potatoes and traditional Chinese herbs, as well as rural tourism, have given villagers stable income growth.

Guo Lianbing, head of the village, said more families now own cars, adding that the village saw an increase of more than 40 cars last year.

This 2013 photo shows the homes of villagers of Yuangudui village, Weiyuan county, Dingxi city, northwest China’s Gansu province.
The 2020 photo shows a new home of a villager. Picture: Xinhua

A 2013 photo shows a muddy road of Yuangudui village, Weiyuan county, Dingxi city, northwest China’s Gansu province.
A 2020 photo shows a poverty-relief relocation site and paved roads in the village. Picture: Xinhua

* This article was published in partnership with People’s Daily Online SA.

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