Oct/Nov 2000

School Improvements Finished in Shashu Village

DORS assisted Shashu Village in making basic improvements to their two village primary schools. When the school for hamlets 1, 2, 3 was built, it was not completed due to lack of funds. As a result, the structure was without a ceiling, subjecting students to the elements in this cold and remote setting. DORS discussed with the villagers what improvements were most important, and with a budget of 5,000 RMB (417 GBP), the funds were directed to purchasing ceiling panels to cover the classrooms and fill in the gaps. Remaining funds were used for school furniture, including 10 sets of desks and stools for students, and one teacher's desk. Hamlets 4 and 5 also decided to use their funds (5,000 RMB) on ceiling panels and school furniture, which included 20 sets of desks and benches, a teacher's desk and cupboard for storing supplies.

Rural Energy - Stove Experiments

As part of the Trace funded Forestry and Rural Energy Project in Nimei Township, DORS has begun a fuel-efficient stove project. With the help of a local Rural Energy Office engineer, two fuel-efficient stoves were built as demonstrations in Huodi Village. The cost of materials was around 600 RMB (50 GBP), which included transport costs to this remote village. Mr. Bai, the engineer overseeing the project, spent 6 days in the village building two household stoves. Two village households were selected. Mr. Bai worked with them to determine their needs and implement an appropriate design plan. The designs used were provided by the Rural Energy Office with a few adaptations to cater to the actual village situation. The new stove design is reported to reduce fuel use by half, which will be a benefit in this fuel short village.

The Yi people of Huodi traditionally did not use a stove for cooking, having instead a fire on the floor in the middle of the room. This method was used for both cooking and space heating. More recently, however, some households have built stone and earth wood-burning stoves, where they can cook both human food and pig feed in two separate large woks set into the stove. This is used in addition to the fire throughout winter.

After the actual savings have been verified, DORS will consider extending this project to all the interested households in Huodi. The villagers will make a contribution to the costs of materials, as well as undergo training on building the stoves for themselves.

Autumn Planting for Community Forestry Projects

The last newsletter focused on the community forestry project in Nimei Township. Apart from this, we have also implemented a new forestry project in Banyang Hamlet 9 and continued with the DfID Small Grants Scheme funded project in Chenhe Village.

Banyang Village
Banyang Hamlet 9 is a small community of 19 households. They have limited agricultural land, all of which is on steep slopes, and are a 40-minute walk from the nearest road. People in the village expressed an interest in improving their forestry income. A participatory assessment was done, and plans for developing a variety of tree species were formulated. A three-day training session was set up in a local nursery for 10 of the villagers. It was decided to grow chestnut trees in the hamlet, and 3500 saplings were allocated to the households

Chenhe Village
DORS active involvement in the community forestry project in Chenhe Village has now come to an end, with the final huajiao saplings having been purchased and delivered. This collectively run project covers an area of 70 mu, with sweet chestnut, walnut and huajiao trees planted. A village management team selected by the villagers is overseeing it. Future income from the scheme will go towards funding other development projects in the village.

Autumn Planting
In the autumn planting period DORS purchased and delivered saplings in the following locations:
Huodi Village Hamlets 1-5, Wanfu Village Hamlets 1-5, Chenhe Village Hamlets 1-7, Banyang Village Hamlet 9, Sugu Village Hamlet 6 .

Qimu (fuelwood): 40,200
Walnut: 6,950
Liusha (timber): 31,800
Duzhong (medicine): 9,000
Huajiao (Sichuan pepper): 184,100
Huangbo (medicinal): 2,100
Chestnut: 4,900
Total number of saplings planted this autumn: 279,050
Total cost: 80,766 RMB (6730 GBP)

Autumn Planting for Community Forestry Projects

Last month, the women of Na'er completed the second cycle of micro-credit loans. Most women used the loans to purchase livestock in this high mountain village. All the women have repaid in full. Loans were allocated in amounts of 1000 RMB (80 GBP), to be repaid over a one-year period in two instalments. The first instalment covered 40% of the loan size and the second instalment, the remaining 60%. This method was designed to accommodate for the variance in cash income at different times of the year. Further loans will be made in the spring.

Volunteer News

Mark Treacher, project assistant, has now left DORS after working here on a self-funding basis for over a year. Mark has now moved to Chengdu. We would like to thank Mark for his contributions.

A new volunteer, Elsa Fan, has arrived from the U.S. Elsa will be working on new projects and women's micro-credit.

Sandrine Lapuyade, a French woman living in Shanghai, is assisting DORS with fundraising work.

The project team in Hanyuan County now consists of three people: Guo Yumei, Elsa Fan and Rose Acock.





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