Feb/March 2008

Working together with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)

The Lunar New Year has arrived, and DORS has started a new venture—community survey work together with WWF for the integrated development of areas surrounding a nature preserve and the conservation of the area.  At the beginning of March, at the recommendation of Ganluo Ma’an Shan Nature Preserve, DORS did baseline surveys in two entirely Yi minority villages of Bobo Township, Naituo and Bobo villages.  DORS formerly implemented projects in Ganluo County’s Pingba, Lianghe, Ni’erjue, and Xinshiba townships, so it is not at all unfamiliar with Yi villages.  This was done  through visiting the two villages and through thorough communication with the residents—interviewing the leaders of the preserve area, township leaders and village leaders, visiting and interviewing households (relatively better off, average and poorer), drawing land-use maps and a seasonal calendar, and conducting a large village meeting, etc.  These tools and methods allowed us to understand the special characteristics of the communities and their economic structures, resources and their use, problems and needs, the extent of their reliance on resources in the nature preserve, and other information, in order to determine whether or not these two villages are suitable for implementing development projects.  We hope that the implementation of projects will be able to improve villagers’ living/production conditions, and at the same time will be able to reduce villagers’ reliance on and impact on the preserve.  (Right picture:  Woman choosing the projects she is interested in at the village meeting organized by DORS)

Shiquan Village

Bee-raising project
This project is something the Shiquan villagers are very interested in.  The last few visits there we got to know villagers’ experience raising bees and their ability with it, and certain households (demonstration households) already have developed this to a good stage.  Through detailed discussion and analysis with the villagers DORS decided  to continue implementing this project. We signed a contract with the five participating households and determined the rules and rewards of the project, in order to encourage the villagers and help them manage the project as they value it.

Fuel-Efficient Stoves
In November 2006 DORS implemented a demonstration stoves project in Shiquan.  At the request of villagers, DORS decided to continue to help those who wished to construct fuel-efficient stoves.  There were 9 households which registered to attend.  DORS has signed a contract with the villagers, and received each villager’s 50 yuan contribution.  Besides this villagers also have to pay 120 yuan per stove in fees for the salary of the technician who builds the stoves, whom the DORS-trained villagers of Shiquan village itself will be.    The cost of the materials and transport of them which is not covered by villagers’ contributions will be covered by DORS.  In order to guarantee that the project can be completed smoothly, DORS receives 50 yuan in guarantee fees from each household.  Hamlet 3’s “Five Guarantees” household (referring to subsidies the government provides its lowest classification of poor households, which may remain extremely poor), Li Dengren’s, is participating in this project, and since he lives alone, according to his conditions we will build a single-wok stove.  We cancelled his having to contribute 50 yuan to the materials cost and asked him only to pay the guarantee fee, which will be returned, and a 60-yuan fee for the technician.

Water Project
This project was completed in 2007.  Due to Hamlet 2 having two households slightly higher than the source of their drinking water, their drinking water problem still hadn’t been solved.  Last year in April (the local dry season), when we inspected and evaluated the project, villagers introduced us to another small water source, and engineer Mr. Bai measured the water flow, about 1800 liters per day, which is enough for two households to use.  Now this problem has already been solved, the water pipes have already been connected to the households, and villagers can drink clean, safe water from taps right at their door.

Wanlin Village

Fuel-Efficient Stoves
At the last large village meeting, villagers expressed very high hopes for fuel-efficient stoves.  After discussing with the villagers, DORS decided to do a demonstration stoves project first.  In the end, five households from three hamlets participated in this project, with villagers recommending two villagers—Hamlet 2’s Ren Wenzhong and Ren Wengui—to attend the technical training. (Right picture is Ren Wenzhong studying).  The five households participating in the project need to pay a guarantee fee and a contribution towards the project, and the project will use the linking-responsibility system to help ensure everything is completed and with good quality.  The first fuel-efficient stove has already been completed.

Hamlets 1-3 Drinking Water Project
This project’s baseline study was completed some time ago, and the original plan was to start work at the beginning of January.  But because of the elections for new village leadership, and this year’s very cold weather, the start date was postponed.  This year freezing winter weather continued a long time, and many villagers’ pipes burst, so water is still villagers’ urgent priority.  During the second half of March we received each hamlet’s water pipe length figures.  Soon the project will enter the planning and design phase, and we will make an early estimate according to the figures that have been given to us (in order to determine the proportion of funds that will be paid by villagers and DORS).  Afterwards, we will search for a suitable opportunity to start, avoiding the busiest agricultural periods.  

Forestry Technical Training

After two rounds of large-scale forestry training, in the last two months, DORS has individually done forestry training for villages in which forestry projects were done—Daying, Shiquan, Fuyou and Maping.  In order to help villagers value their trees and manage them well, we held a trees management in all four seasons technical training for village-level demonstration houses.  These villages’ forestry projects have already been completed—this is a follow-up work.

Libraries Supported by Ms. Joanna Xu

The creation of libraries supported by Beijing’s Ms. Joanna Xu has been completed. The books were divided among Daling Central School, Shiquan Village Primary School, and Daying Village’s two primary schools to create four libaries.  Aside from Shiquan Village which just has one school, the other areas plan to have their libraries rotate among different schools for maximum benefit.

DORS News and Information

In the first half of March, due to DORS’ plentiful experience in community rural development, Beijing Shanshui Nature Conservation Center (formerly known as Conservation International, or CI)’s Mr. Deng Qiang invited DORS to consult for them by completing a three-day baseline survey at  Pijue Village, Aga township, Ganluo County.  Here we thank CI-Shanshui for their approval of and trust in DORS.

In March the fruit trees in Hanyuan burst forth in dazzling display of  millions of flowers, making houses in the valleys and on the mountains alike appear to float on a sea of white bubbles.  Wearing light coats, light steps and light hearts, friends come out to play.  We welcome DORS friends to Hanyuan to visit, it would be a pleasure to host you!





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