PM okays relocation plan for Hoa Binh reservoir

Update: January, 22/2015 - 08:07
Dao ethnic minority people are settling down in their new homes after being relocated from areas submerged by the Hoa Binh dam. — VNA/VNS Nhan Sinh

HA NOI (VNS) — The Prime Minister has approved adjustments to the Scheme on Population Stabilisation and Social-Economic Development for the Da River Evacuation Area in Hoa Binh Province in the 2009-15 period.

The original scheme, approved in Decision 1588/QD-TTg dated October 9, 2009, affects 36 communes of five districts (Da Bac, Mai Chau, Tan Lac, Cao Phong and Kim Boi) and the city of Hoa Binh. Under the plan, 26 communes would be submerged in the Hoa Binh Reservoir, which is fed by the Da River. Ten communes outside the reservoir would accommodate those relocated from the reservoir-submerged area.

The adjusted scheme is different from the old one in the scope, purposes and duration of implementation. The new VND4,053 billion (nearly US$190 million) scheme will be completed in 2020, instead of 2015. The affected area will cover 40 communes, including 36 covered by the old scheme and the additional four communes of Yen Nghiep (Lac Son district), Bao Hieu (Yen Thuy district), Dong Tam (Lac Thuy district) and My Hoa (Kim Boi district).

The scheme intends to ensure stable residences for people, improve their living standards and income, eliminate the households at risk of relapsing into hunger and reduce the ratio of poor households to the province average. It also aims to change the economic structure of the area gradually, reducing agriculture-reliant labour and increasing the percentage of trained labourers.

The specific targets set for 2020 are relocating around 300 households to concentrated resettlement areas, stabilising the life of the 1,200 households in the communes around the lake and developing agriculture, forestry and fishery in ways that are concentrated, industrialised and employ advanced science and technology to increase productivity, improve quality and cut production costs.

Under the plan, the ratio of industry and services would account for 20-25 per cent of the economic structure for the communes surrounding the reservoir. Villagers would be given access to production services and product outlets. Agricultural labourers would account for only 60 per cent of the workforce, while trained labourers would account for 40 per cent.

In addition to increasing investment in expanding production and infrastructure, the scheme aims to move households in areas prone to landslides and flash floods to safer resettlement areas with adequate land for permanent accommodation and production. Households in crowded areas will be relocated to less populated areas with sufficient land for housing and production. Funding will focus on the development of sustainable livelihoods such as investing in production forests, raising cattle and poultry and rearing caged fish on a commercial basis. — VNS