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Resettlement area not suitable for farmers

Update: June, 26/2013 - 09:53

DAK NONG (VNS)— When the Serepok 3 Hydro-electricity Project forced many residents of this Central Highlands province out of their homes, Hoang Thi Hanh moved to the resettlement area but found the land too dry for any vegetables or trees to grow.

For this reason, dozens of Hanh's former neighbours still refuse to move to the VND30 billion (US$1.43 million) resettlement area in Cu Jut District. To date, only five of the 70 households in the area have made the move.

While the resettlement area includes buildings, schools, power and water, health stations and entertainment centres, much of this infrastructure has been destroyed since the neighbourhood was abandoned more than five years ago.

"Doors have fallen off and equipment worth billions of dong has broken," said Dinh Cong Xoan, chairman of the district's Ea Po Commune People's Committee..

Additionally, residents complained that households were given only a 400sq.m lot for accommodation, with barely any compensation for production or business losses.

Nguyen Thi Hue said her family received 400sq.m for accommodation and a scant VND20 million (US$952) as compensation for their hectare of arable land.

As a result, they had no money to build a new house and were forced to live in the home of relatives, as well as to work in part-time jobs that could not even pay tuition fees for their two children.

Being a farmer used to mean poverty; now, it meant desperation, said Dinh Minh Ninh, another local resident.

Xoan said measures to help Ninh and others would soon be implemented.

The 220MW Serepok 3 Hydro-electricity Project was built in 2005 in Buon Don District's Ea Nuol and Tan Hoa communes and Chu Jut District's Ea Po Commune and came into operation in 2010. —VNS

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