|People of Quỳnh Phiêng resettlement hamlet in Lóng Phiêng Commune of Sơn La Province's Yên Châu District harvesting cabbages. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết|
SƠN LA — More than 12,500 households in Sơn La Province who gave their land for the building of Sơn La Hydropower Plant in 2001 have stabilised their lives and are actively building new homelands and beautiful villages in resettlement areas.
At the end of 2007, the first residents from Quỳnh Nhai District set foot in the commune of Lóng Phiêng of Yên Châu District under the resettlement programme of the Sơn La Hydropower Plant project.
In recent years, people have started to change crops to suit soil conditions and market demand.
Along with fruit trees such as plum and longan, people also apply scientific and technical advances to intensive farming that have led to higher yield and quality.
Lò Thị Xây in Quỳnh Phiêng Hamlet said: “In the beginning, it was very difficult for people to move here. We did not know how to exploit the land to grow crops and fruit trees so our lives were so hard.”
“Gradually, we were trained by the local people to do farming. Up to now, we have changed the crop structure to help the economy develop more. Many families have escaped from poverty,” said Xây.
Quỳnh Phiêng Hamlet has 66 households with nearly 300 people who are Thai ethnic people.
In the first days of moving to a new land, people inevitably faced surprises doing farming and household economic development.
The Government focused on bringing electricity, building roads and schools, and providing housing and productive land to the people.
Hoàng Văn Phó, head of the hamlet, said, “When moving to the hamlet, the resettled people mainly planted corn but it was not effective. Then, they switched to growing plums, longans and other crops.”
“Currently, the average income of each household is VNĐ100 million (US$4,000) per year. There are only two poor households in the hamlet,” he said.
Like people in Quỳnh Phiêng Hamlet, the resettled people in Mường Chiên Hamlet 1 in Phổng Lái Commune of Thuận Châu District have adapted to the new place after many years.
In a spacious wooden stilt house made in the traditional style of the Thai ethnic group, Điêu Minh Lợi said that his family moved from Quỳnh Nhai District to the hamlet almost 15 years ago.
Like more than 70 households resettled in the hamlet, his family has gradually gotten used to life in the new homeland.
“When moving here, my family was allocated 7,500sq.m of land where I planted tea and coffee and raised pigs and chickens,” said Lợi.
“At present, tea is the main crop of the people here. Every year, households have invested in expanding intensive farming and harvest about 300kg of tea on each 1,000sq.m of land per season,” Lợi said.
“Every year, my family harvests 12 rounds of tea and earns VNĐ70-80 million ($3,000-3,400) on average,” he said.
To build the Sơn La Hydropower Plant, more than 12,500 households had to move to 346 resettlement areas.
|Quỳnh Phiêng resettlement hamlet in Lóng Phiêng Commune of Sơn La Province's Yên Châu District. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết|
Up to now, over 2,600 public works and classrooms have been built with investment of more than VNĐ9 trillion (US$381 million).
The project on population stabilisation and socio-economic development in the resettlement areas of Sơn La Hydropower Plant Phase 2 continues to be implemented with many programmes to support resettled people.
From 2007 to 2009, Yên Châu District received 388 households with more than 1,800 people moving into 10 relocation areas of more than 1,000 hectares divided into five zones.
“Up to now, the lives of the resettled people have stabilised and integrated with the local people to jointly develop production to increase income and gradually get rich in the new homeland,” said Yên Châu District’s People's Committee vice chairman Lê Huy Phong.
Meanwhile, Thuận Châu District received 1,500 households to resettle in 35 relocation sites.
To help people stabilise their lives, the local government carried out many construction projects.
Along with that, a grassroots political system was consolidated and strengthened. Political security, social order and safety were ensured. People in the resettled areas were assured of income improvement after resettlement.
Every year, Thuận Châu District People's Committee continues implementing measures to support and help the resettled people change crops and livestock structures to increase living standards.
Phạm Văn Lâm, vice director of the Thuận Châu Investment and Construction Management Board, said that to implement the project on population stabilisation and socio-economic development in the resettlement area of Sơn La Hydropower Plant Phase 2, the district carried out and completed nine infrastructure projects with a total investment of about VNĐ25 billion ($1 million).
In 2023 and 2024, the district would continue to implement 99 projects, of which 80 are for upgrading and repairing roads and 19 projects of domestic water supply and irrigation works, Lâm said.
After implementing these projects, the infrastructure of resettlement areas would be improved to contribute to socio-economic development, he said. — VNS