Alle­vi­at­ing poverty in ru­ral Ti­bet through re­lo­ca­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET - By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa

Around 163,000 res­i­dents of the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion will be re­lo­cated to more hab­it­able lo­ca­tions this year as part of poverty al­le­vi­a­tion ef­forts, the fifth ses­sion of the 10th Ti­bet Peo­ple’s Congress has heard.

Per capita dis­pos­able in­come of poor res­i­dents is ex­pected to in­crease by 16 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est gov­ern­ment work re­port, which said that 130,000 res­i­dents, 20 coun­ties and 1,705 vil­lages would be lifted out of poverty this year.

Con­struc­tion is al­ready com­plete on 376 poverty al­le­vi­a­tion set­tle­ments and 77,000 poverty-stricken res­i­dents were re­lo­cated last year, the re­port showed.

Tashi Phuntsok, the Party head of Amdo county who at­tended the peo­ple’s congress, de­scribed re­lo­ca­tion as a key part of poverty al­le­vi­a­tion.

“The harsh en­vi­ron­ment in cer­tain ar­eas can­not sup­port the peo­ple who live there — that is the key rea­son for off-site re­lo­ca­tion,” the 43-year-old said.

“Our priority is res­i­dents with health prob­lems, lim­ited land and an­i­mal re­sources, and fam­i­lies with­out a bread­win­ner.”

Amdo county has 9,582 res­i­dents in 2,677 house­holds who are de­fined as poverty-stricken. They ac­count for al­most a quar­ter of the county’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 43,000, cre­at­ing a huge im­pe­tus for ac­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Amdo county gov­ern­ment.

Yet re­lo­ca­tion is not the only so­lu­tion for poverty al­le­vi­a­tion in the re­gion, with gov­ern­ments also look­ing to pro­vide jobs to re­lo­cated res­i­dents.

“A new house, on its own, will not al­le­vi­ate a per­son’s poverty, it is cru­cial to also pro­vide them with jobs to sus­tain a sta­ble fam­ily in­come,” Tashi Phuntsok said.

“I have read the gov­ern­ment re­port, and poverty al­le­vi­a­tion was listed as a priority for 2017, which is a big en­cour­age­ment for us.”

Else­where, the Nagqu county gov­ern­ment has set up a com­mer­cial rental project in the county town with the aim of pro­vid­ing work for res­i­dents in re­lo­ca­tion com­mu­ni­ties.

The project pro­vides build­ings for re­lo­cated res­i­dents that they can ei­ther op­er­ate their own busi­nesses from or lease to other peo­ple.

Other jobs avail­able for re­lo­cated res­i­dents in­clude those at ho­tels and car washes, as well as con­crete batch­ing plants and on trans­port teams.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, the re­lo­cated fam­i­lies re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing for pro­tect­ing the grass­lands, wa­ter re­sources and wildlife, and there is also an ed­u­ca­tion pay­ment scheme,” Tashi Phuntsok said.

As Amdo county is a no­madic area some­times de­scribed as the North­ern Gate of Ti­bet, res­i­dents are also be­ing en­cour­aged to pro­duce tra­di­tional prod­ucts and op­er­ate inns and restau­rants for tourists.

“It is im­por­tant that the re­lo­cated res­i­dents are in­de­pen­dent and en­thu­si­as­tic about their work, oth­er­wise they will find it hard to rid them­selves of poverty,” Tashi Phuntsok said.

So far, 143 house­holds have been re­lo­cated in Amdo county and the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents have found work, with some em­ployed in eco­log­i­cal po­si­tions as pro­tec­tors of grass­lands, wa­ter, and wildlife.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial statis­tics, 528 poverty al­le­vi­a­tion projects were im­ple­mented in Ti­bet last year and more than 49,000 poor res­i­dents re­ceived some form of train­ing or re­train­ing. About 34,000 poor res­i­dents were pro­vided with jobs and more than 500,000 were em­ployed in eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion.

Con­tact the writ­ers at palden_ nyima@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PUBU TASHI / XINHUA LIU JUNDONG / XINHUA

Left: Chil­dren play in the kinder­garten of Sanyou vil­lage, a poverty al­le­vi­a­tion set­tle­ment in Quxu county, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion. A to­tal of 712 poverty-stricken res­i­dents from 10 vil­lages in the county were moved to the new set­tle­ment last year. Right: A res­i­dent of a poverty-stricken com­mu­nity in Shan­nan pre­fec­ture re­ceives train­ing in Thangka paint­ing.

XINHUA PUBU TASHI /

Sanyou vil­lage in Quxu county is one of 376 poverty al­le­vi­a­tion set­tle­ments de­vel­oped last year in Ti­bet.

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