After dozens of years living on floating boats catching fish along the Lam River, the residents of a fishing village in Tam Sơn Commune, Anh Sơn District of the central province of Nghệ An, have moved to houses on land with the support of local authorities.
As a result, this coming flood season, they will no longer have to seek temporary shelter in the commune’s culture house as in the past.
People support one another to build new houses on land. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh
Nguyễn Thị Thuận, 53, and her husband, who suffers from polio, couldn't hide their happiness to be in their dream house.
“We dreamed for such a house throughout our youth,” she said.
They now have a house of two rooms, a kitchen and a toilet with clean water and electricity.
People have access to clean water in their new houses. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh
Thuận said her family of five lived in a small boat. They wanted a house on land so that she could take care of her husband better.
“Now, our life is at ease,” she said. “We can raise some poultry, pigs, plant vegetables and from time to time go fishing,” she said.
Nguyễn Văn Hiệp, another resident, said he no longer worries his grandchildren will have no place to play when it rains.
Children can play in safe homes from now on. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh
“All members of my family feel happy to move in the house built by the State for us,” he said.
The new hamlet built for them has seven families with 32 people, who moved from other areas to the commune to fish on the Lam River over the past 20 years. They spent day and night on makeshift fishing boats.
They had no land to plant crops or build houses and their lives were threatened during flood season when they often sought shelter in the commune’s culture house.
In the newly-settled area, each family is provided with 400sq.m of residential land to build their houses.
Their new hamlet is situated a few hundred metres from a big inter-communal road. Roads and water canals are being built in the area as well.
According to Nguyễn Văn Toàn, Party Secretary of Tam Sơn Commune’s Party Committee, floating villagers have wanted to live on land for a long time but local authorities were unable to support them.
Last year, commune authorities petitioned higher-level authorities to build a new residential area for the floating villagers.
They will no longer live in these makeshift boats. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh
The province agreed to build houses on a hill in Village No. 2 in Tam Sơn Commune for them.
“They are all poor families in the commune,” Toàn said. “We understand their hardship.”
The province gave each family VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) to build houses while local authorities built roads, installed electricity and clean water systems for them.
Lê Quang Hòa, 66, the oldest person in the hamlet, said moving to the new houses made them very happy.
“We are also happy as we can still live close to one another in a hamlet,” he said. “We will continue to encourage one another to overcome hardship to have better living standards in our new homes.” — VNS
The new hamlet, where the former floating villagers can still live near one another. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh