June 1998

Women's Rural Credit Scheme Comes to Banyang Village

DORS Women's Rural Credit Scheme began in July 1997 with loans made to 29 women in Sugu Village, Hamlets 4 and 5. The final monthly repayments for these loans are due next month. Since then loans have been made to a further 30 women in Sugu Village and 95 women in Juetuo Village. Both these villages are Yi Minority villages and among the poorest in the County. This month, thanks to donations from Trace of New York and the British Chamber of Commerce in China, we expanded the rural credit scheme to Banyang Village. So far loans have been made to 45 women from three of the nine hamlets. The scheme is very popular, with two third of the women applying for loans.

The women, nearly all of whom will use the loan for expanding animal husbandry, decided to make two six monthly repayments, as this fits well with their pig raising. The village of Banyang consists of 9 hamlets spread out over the hillside. To walk from one end of the village to the other takes 1-2 days. Six of the Banyang Village hamlets are located by the road in the Dadu River valley. Three are situated up the mountain side. DORS made loans in two of these three remote hamlets. In Hamlet 4 there are nine households, several households have moved in recent years down the valley where conditions are better. The remaining people complain of bears and wild boar eating their crops. Some of these remaining households would move down the mountain if they could get land to farm.

The rural credit scheme in Banyang will be extended to include all the hamlets next month. Hamlet 5 has a school attended by children of hamlets 4 and 5. The school is one small room in a mud brick building, the classroom is dark as there is no electricity and only one small window without glass. These mountains are snow covered in winter and the classroom has no heating. Children from hamlet 4 walk one hour to get to school along steep mountain paths. There are only 5 children in the school. All have part of their fees paid by the DORS education project. Banyang Village is also the site of our drinking and irrigation water project, in village group 8.


Donation from British Chamber of Commerce in China

This month DORS received a donation of 53,000 RMB from the Chamber. This donation will be used for the Women's Rural Credit Scheme.

Chenhe 3 Zu Water Supply Project

The drinking water supply part of this project was completed in April this year. An irrigation tank is to be built to collect excess water. This part of the project was ready to begin in April, however, there was a hailstorm, with hail stones the size of ping pong balls. The rooves of houses were damaged and cement for the project that was stored in two village houses was spoilt by the rain leaking though the broken rooves. Also the potato and maize crops were damaged, so had to be replanted. With the additional load of agricultural work the villagers decided to delay the completion of the irrigation tank until after the harvest.





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