Feb/Aug 1997

Project Updates

Banyang Village Water Supply Project

The water pipes have now been attached to the wire suspended over the Dadu river. Water, that will be used for drinking and irrigation purposes in Banyang, is now flowing along the 400m channel. When the work on the water storage tanks in Banyang is completed, the pipes will be connected to allow the water to flow from the source across the river into Banyang Village.

New Projects Ready to Begin
DORS are now ready to begin 2 further projects after receiving donations:

Wansheng Village Drinking Water Supply Project
Currently people in Wansheng and Guangyong villages are drinking muddy and polluted water piped or carried direct from an irrigation channel. The new plan will channel a mountain stream 4km to supply all the various hamlets that make up these villages. We have just completed a baseline study which included detailing the present water sources and uses. We talked to several people from each of the hamlets to ensure the proposed plan is suitable for their needs and made adjustments as necessary.

Shashu Village Drinking Water Supply Project
This remote high mountain village (2,300m) is divided into two parts, one accessed by a road and the other a further one hours walk along a steep path. Both parts will have a mountain spring channelled to a drinking water tank above each village. A similar baseline study was conducted and construction will begin in both Wansheng and Shashu soon.

The Jeep
After a Newspaper article about DORS was published in Chengdu, a Chengdu businessman, Mr. Hao An Min donated a jeep to Hanyuan Poverty Alleviation Office for DORS use. We would like to thank Mr. Hao for his support.

Women's Rural Credit Scheme Expands
The first monthly repayments have been made and the scheme has been extended to the neighbouring village group.

July 1997

Project Updates

New Project Begins -Women's Rural Credit Scheme
The first loans in this experimental Rural Credit Scheme will be distributed this month. The Rural Credit Scheme is designed jointly by DORS and the people of Shugu Yi Minority Village. Rose spent two days there earlier this month discussing the credit needs and pay back methods, after a week long stay earlier in the year. Already nearly all the households in Shugu 4th Group have registered to participate.

With the aim of poverty alleviation in this 'Particularly Poor' village, DORS will make small loans of maximum 1000 RMB (£80) directly to the women of the village. Loans will be repaid in stages over 12 months. The women are planning to use the loans to develop their household farm production; some will buy a horse that can be used to transport goods up and down the steep hillside as well as for farm use; some will buy a cow for ploughing the fields; others are interested in raising pigs, opening a small shop, building a pig sty etc. The scheme's flexibility is able to take into account the different requirements of the participating women.

Through these pursuits the women will be able to improve their standard of living, and improve their household income. DORS will also be providing training sessions for the people of Shugu in these or other income generating pursuits of their choice. This experimental scheme will be tried in other 'Particularly Poor' villages of Hanyuan later in the year.

Banyang Village Water Supply Project - Suspension Wire in Place
The men of Banyang Village worked for seven days solid to hoist the suspension wire into place high on the opposite mountain side to the newly built water channel, the wire spans 800m across the river and is safely secured on the steep hillside above their village. This most difficult part of the water supply project is now completed. The villagers did all the work themselves with little or no equipment and just a few pairs of gloves supplied by DORS for handling the 2.4 tonne suspension wire. After seeking some technical advice they are now prepared to begin the next part which is to attach two plastic water pipes to this wire for bringing water to the irrigation and drinking water tanks above the village.

Zhushan Village Water Supply Project
The 5 hamlets of Zhushan have each been assigned a section of land to prepare for the water pipe that will bring spring water 4km from a mountain gully to their homes. Whilst 2km of this pipe bed is on uncultivated mountain land, a further 2km passes through their maize fields. The villagers decided to clear this section only after they have harvested their maize crop in September, to prevent loss of grain. Help Needed - School Fees

In each of the villages where we have projects we see a basic education for the children who cannot attend primary school as being essential. We are therefore seeking further donations from our supporters to enable us to assist all the children of 'Particularly Poor' households in our project villages to begin the next school term in September. Per child the cost is only about 150 RMB or (£12). We would be grateful for any further donations.

June 1997

Third Alien Lands in Hanyuan
As Hanyuan County is officially closed to foreigners, special permission is needed to visit the county. foreign guests must apply for an 'Alien Travel Permit'. When the Reverend John Pritchard of the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (UK) came to Hanyuan, the permit he was issued with was number 003! Ourselves (Rose Acock and Richard Anderson) being the only other foreigners in Hanyuan this year.

Rev. Pritchard spent five days here, including the 2 days needed to travel to and from Chengdu. The Methodist Relief and Development fund is the Project Sponsor for the Zhushan Village Drinking Water Supply Project. Rev. Pritchard is the first of our donors to make the arduous journey to the DORS project office and project sites. We would be pleased to welcome more 'aliens' to Hanyuan in the future.

Project Updates

Zhushan Drinking and Irrigation Water Project
This time of year is one of the busiest periods of the agricultural calendar. Even in the villages with no irrigated paddy land, the farmers are hurrying to fertilise crops. This involves ladling manure and night soil from waste pits at each house into horse panniers or back baskets and carrying it to the fields. Here it is mixed with water and poured around each and every plant (maize, sweet potatoes, beans). The villagers of Zhushan have still found time to complete one of the five drinking water tanks and make a start on the other four. These stone structures are dug into the ground, lined with cement and covered. Each tank has a capacity of several cubic metres, depending on the number of households it will serve.

Banyang Village Water Supply Project
The storage tank for irrigation water has been started. The villagers each dig several cubic metres of earth from the hillside where the tank is to be situated. Water piped across the Dadu river will be stored in this tank and a separate drinking water tank.

As there are no bridges nearby or road access to the opposite bank, and no suitable boats, another way had to be found to transport the materials across the river. A temporary cable has been fixed across the river and some of the plastic piping has been sent across using pulleys.

May 1997

Hanyuan County in May
This is a busy time of year for the farmers of Hanyuan. On the narrow flood plains of the Liu Sha and Dadu rivers, the garlic has been harvested, the wheat is nearly ripe and rice seedlings have been planted out in the nursery fields. Late May is the busiest time of the agricultural calendar. Wheat harvesting begins and is followed by intensive ploughing with oxen and fertilising of the fields to prepare them for rice transplanting. On the hills, the barren slopes are turning green as the potatoes, soya beans, sweet potatoes and maize crops begin to sprout.

May also sees the beginning of our second water project in Hanyuan County, more construction at Banyang on the project there and preparations are also underway for an experimental micro credit scheme.

Project Updates

Zhushan Water Supply Project
Construction is underway in Zhushan village for the irrigation and drinking water supply project. The plan for the project includes diverting a mountain stream into a pipe. Branch pipes from this will then take water to a central tank above each of the four natural villages that make up Zhushan.

Later this month Rose is going to stay in a village in Hunyuan to get to know the people there and find out their ideas on whether a rural credit scheme would be of benefit to them. From there an experimental model will be set up and monitored. If this is successful DORS would like to begin schemes in other poor villages in the county, although we still require more funding for this project. More news on this and the other projects in next months news letter.

We are still seeking funding for a number of other poverty alleviation projects in Hanyuan County.

First Stage of Construction Completed at Banyang
The initial preparation work for the water supply pipe which will take fresh water across the Dadu river to Banyang village, has now been finished. The labouring for this project is all provided free by the people of Banyuang village. One third of the village population have carried cement and sand up the steep hillside on the opposite side of the river valley.

The village leader, Mr. Qiu (24), organised the people to work on the project after the maize crop was planted. So far, 25 tonnes of materials have been carried up and used to complete the construction of a four hundred metre water channel ( taking water from the mountain stream to the water sediment pond) and the support base for the suspension wire (supporting the water pipe across the one thousand metre span to the hillside above the village). Already about 5mu of the steeply sloping village land has been painstakingly levelled by individual families to form flat paddy fields that can grow winter wheat and rice when the irrigation water is available.

April 1997

"Thanks to our donors"
Zhushan Drinking Water Supply Project is due to begin this month. The UK based Methodist Relief and Development Fund have donated the money for this project which will provide drinking water for 402 villagers. A donation of 1,500 GBP has also been received from UK power company National Power.

Project Updates

Construction Underway in Banyang
Construction work has begun on this impressive BCCC funded engineering project which will bring a drinking and irrigation water supply to the people of Banyang Village. The work involves building a 1000m water pipe, suspended across the raging Dadu river. At the water source on the opposite side of the steep valley, people from the village have begun building a water tank. This stage of construction will be completed by the beginning of May. The project is the first of five water supply projects that DORS hopes to implement this year (see below).

Ahyi Siyi of Sugu VillageYi Minority Customs

Soaked in water, beaten with a stick, pinched and having your face smeared with ash. This is the reception the groom's friends receive at the bride's home on a wedding day in Yi Minority villages! Rose found this out during her week in a remote Yi village researching Yi culture. Many of the poorest villages in Hanyuan county are populated by Yi people, who have a different language and culture from Han Chinese. Rose is preparing a report about the customs, living conditions and agriculture of Shugu village which will be available to anyone interested. The village at present has no electricity or water supplies and many of the girls don't go to school. DORS would like to provide assistance to Shugu village and funding proposals will be available soon.

Aiyi Siying dressed in the traditional Yi wedding dress.

New Projects

Chenhe Drinking Water Supply Project
In March we visited Chenhe Village, a "particularly poor village" perched on a steep mountain slope. The village has no clean water supply. DORS would like to provide materials for developing 2 nearby water sources and piping to households. The cost is only 15 GBP per person or 4,265 GBP in total.

Other Projects
We are still seeking funding for our Rural Women's Training and Education Project, Daling Social and Community Forestry Project, Rural Womens' Credit Scheme Project, Wansheng Drinking Water Supply Project and Shanshu Drinking Water Supply Project.

March 1997

February, our first month in Hanyuan, was a busy month for DORS. We visited various villages in the County, in particular, the village of Ban Yang where we began our Women's Education and Training Project and will be starting the Ban Yang Village Water Supply Project shortly. We also travelled to Chengdu where we were presented with the funding for this project by The British Chamber of Commerce in China.

Project Updates

Qui Xiao Lan of Banyang VillageRural Women's Education and Training Project

Thanks to donations towards the 'education grants' part of this project, thirteen children from Ban Yang Village are now attending school this semester. DORS paid their primary school fees. All of their families had particular difficulties, such as very little land, many had long term illnesses making farm labour short, and two of the children were orphans taken in by relatives. Two of the children will now be able to graduate from primary school at the end of this semester. In September we will review the progress of the children and hopefully can continue to support them further. Next semester we are hoping to support a number of children at middle school too.

Above. Qiu Xiao Lan, aged 12, now attending the 5th year of Primary school. Qiu Xiao Lan's family of six live off a land allocation for two. They were unable to pay for her school fees this year.

Banyang Water Supply Project
This British Chamber of Commerce in China sponsored project is now ready to begin. The people of Ban Yang have started levelling some of their fields in preperation for irrigation.

Other Projects
We are still raising further funds for the Rural Women's Education and Training Project (above) and funds to begin the Daling Social and Community Forestry and Rural Women's Credit Scheme Projects.

New Projects
We are seeking funding for the following two new projects (full Project Proposals can be obtained from our UK or China offices):

Wansheng Drinking Water Supply Project
Wan Sheng Village is rather unusual in that it has a newly built Catholic Church (a legacy of French missionaries at the turn of the century), yet no clean drinking water supply. People currently drink ditch water. With DORS help the 2,000 people of this village can build enclosed water channels and storage tanks - Part I of this project (cost £5,254 ), and piping to the village - Part II (cost £3,237).

Shashu Drinking Water Supply Project
Shashu is a particually poor and remote mountain village in South East Hanyuan County. At present the villagers' drinking water is carried by women in wooden back buckets from a mountain stream. If DORS can secure funding for construction materials then the villagers themselves will be able to build water storage tanks and underground pipes (to prevent freezing), enabling 435 people to have a clean and convenient water supply. In addition, the villagers will organise small hydro electrical generators, connected to this water supply which can be used for household electricity needs. The total funding required for this project is £5,770.

February 1997

Project Office
Our project office opened in January in Hanyuan County, Yaan Prefecture, Sichuan Province . DORS now has two full time voluntary staff there: Rose Acock (DORS Director) and Richard Anderson. Visitors are welcome. This office deals with the day to day implementation of our 1997 projects, new project development, liasing with County Government leaders, and making regular trips to the project villages.

Project Updates

Banyang Village Water Supply Project
This construction project will provide 157 Banyang Village inhabitants with a water supply for drinking and irrigating their dry land. DORS have already received partial funding for this from the British Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Group, Beijing. The project will begin at the end of February, after the Chinese New Year holiday.

Women's Rural Credit Scheme
DORS will set up several experimental credit schemes designed especially to meet the needs of rural women. These will make small scale loans for setting up income generating activities. This project will begin in mid 1997. More funding is still needed.

Social and Community Forestry Project
DORS is providing a subsidy direct to farmers for buying fruit and nut tree samplings. We hope to help the farmers buy 40,000 trees. The sale of fruit and nuts with 3-4 years should help them increase their income to above the poverty line. At present we have only a proportion of the funds needed for this project, however, we hope to begin planting in the spring.

Rural Women's Education and Training Project
This project offers educational grants for school fees to children from poor and remote villages. It also arranges training for women in income generating activities. We have received part of the funding for this project, so can immediately begin supporting a few children to start school at the beginning of the new semester in March, but we still need to make up the remainder.

New Projects

Zhushan Village Water Supply Project
DORS has been approached to help Zhushan Village solve their water shortage problem. We are currently seeking funding for this project. It involves providing GBP 5,000 in construction materials for building 16 mini reservoirs together with piping to households in this village of 402 people. The water is for irrigation and household use. This project will enable them to grow more crops, thus raising their income significantly.





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