|Students wade through a stream to get to school. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết|
SƠN LA — People in Chiềng Nơi, a remote mountainous commune of Mai Sơn District, Sơn La Province, are being held back by a lack of suitable transport infrastructure, forcing farmers to push their motorbikes up steep, muddy roads to sell their produce and children to wade through streams up to 70cm deep to get to school.
The people in this area are poor and heavily dependent on cassava and rice as their main sources of income.
Some have recently begun planting longan, mango and plum trees, but poor transport is hindering their trade, said Cầm Văn Doan, secretary of Phiêng Khôm village Party Committee.
He added that for many years, residents have hoped for a concrete road to make travel safer and more convenient.
The village has 64 households, 56 of which are poor families.
About 10km from the centre of Chiềng Nơi commune, residents of Huổi Sàng must travel on dirt roads every day.
This is the village's main road and it leads to a school for students from three villages. Before reaching the school, the road crosses through a wide stream, where the water reaches 60-70cm deep.
The head of Huổi Sàng village, Lường Văn Phiu, said people sometimes have to carry trees on their motorbikes cross the stream.
This makes it all the more difficult to transport agricultural products for consumption, especially in the rainy season, he said.
|A muddy road between the villages of Chiềng Nơi Commune. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết|
Chiền Nơi Commune has 1,100 households, of which, 75 per cent are poor families.
The construction of improved roads requires large funds and investment resources from the State budget have not met the actual needs.
Raising capital from individuals and organisations is even more difficult.
Lường Văn Lập, vice chairman of Chiềng Nơi Commune People's Committee, said due to a shortage of funds to build roads, the committee instead calls on local people to repair roads.
Due to poor transport, farmers are often forced to sell their agricultural products at lower prices than in other localities, Lập said.
He said the district authority is implementing support solutions to gradually invest in the construction of essential works, helping Chiềng Nơi to overcome these difficulties.
Tòng Thị Chung, deputy head of the Mai Sơn District's Department of Finance and Planning, said the department has proposed a plan to the competent authorities to allocate capital to Chiền Nơi commune to upgrade key traffic works soon.
Businesses are also called on to join hands with local authorities to help people develop production to escape poverty, she said. — VNS