October 1997

31st October 1997

Zhushan Village - Water on Tap

The villagers of Zhushan were celebrating the connection of their water supply with firecrackers when we visited last week. The piping has all been laid, and each household has a pipe and tap bringing clean mountain stream water to their houses. This first stage of the Methodist Relief and Development Fund sponsored project for village drinking and irrigation water is completed. The people of Zhushan are overjoyed at having water in their homes. Previously they had to fetch from streams, and muddy rainwater ponds, which was not only very inconvenient but also unsanitary. With this improved supply some of their farm land can be irrigated. This is the second part of the project, and is still underway. Water storage ponds are being dug to retain excess piped water and this can be used for irrigating land to grow rice and wheat and for watering vegetables and fruit trees.

Work Begins in Wansheng Village

The British Embassy in China have agreed to fund this project with £8,485 to bring drinking water to the 2000 residents of Wansheng Village. Work has already begun on the water tanks, of which there are several. The area to be supplied is large, therefore two mountain streams will be diverted. Although the cost per person of this project is very low, the people were unable to contribute financially. When we talked to people in their homes they all said they were willing to work voluntarily to construct the tanks and lay the piping.

Experimental Loan Scheme - Hoping to Expand

Thanks to all the support from DORS donors, last month we were happy to report that 95 children are now able to attend school as DORS paid their tuition fees. We see this as just a stop gap measure. The DORS Women's Rural Credit Scheme gives opportunities to women to improve the well-being of their whole family, through their own endeavours, thus enabling them to pay their own children's fees in the future. The women here are fully capable of improving their households income. The main problem is that many are short of even small amounts of money to get them started on projects of their own choosing, such as raising an extra pig for sale, a horse for ploughing and transport, setting up a small shop etc. DORS are eager to extend this scheme and have recently received a donation from Misereor, however, we are still seeking further funding. Repaid funds are reloaned immediately, so donations are used over and over again. And with sufficient funds we can loan to new women every month.

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