Chalin Village, Hanyuan 2001-2004

Chalin village is a part of Pianma Township. It is located across the river from the Hanyuan county seat, and about an hour and a half drive up to Miaoziping, which is as far as the road goes in Pianma. From there, it is about a 1.5-hour walk to the closest hamlet 1, where the school is located.

There are 6 hamlets that make up the village, 3 of which are mixed Han and Yi. The hamlets are extremely spread out. Even within the hamlets, households are spread out. All but two are at the same elevation level at around 1400 m. All the households from hamlet 4 have moved down to hamlet 3, and there are no more households residing there. Hamlet 6 was also originally only a few households that were mainly old couples whose children had moved away. However, most of these old households have since moved down and been replaced by Yi minority households from Ganluo County, which is just across the other side of the mountain. Many from Ganluo have also moved into hamlet 5 as well, which makes the hamlet mixed between the two groups. The latest population figure we have is 419 people in the whole village.

The village is spacious and land is abundant. There is no paddy in the village. Land was allocated by about 2 mu per person. This means that many households in which children have moved away still retain the land that was allotted to them. There is also a small stream running through most of the hamlets, which is used for washing or feed, but not abundant enough for irrigation. During the winter the water is considerably less, and increases during the summer seasons.

Road Construction

DORS implemented this project in partnership with the Pianma Township government. In this project, the township government assisted in overseeing the safety of the purchase, delivery and use of the dynamites needed for the construction of the road and the bridge. The Transport Bureau designed the construction plan for the road and their contribution along those of other government departments follows:

Department Items
Minorities Department 2 tonnes of explosives + RMB 1,500
County Poverty Alleviation Bureau 4 tonnes of explosives
Industrial and Commerce Bureau 1 ton of explosives + RMB 10,000
Transport Bureau RMB 86,855 for cement and explosives
Agriculture Machinery Department RMB 8,120
County Government Office
(County Leader Mr. Zhang)
10 tonnes of cement

Villagers contributed labour, which was carried out on a rotational basis, with each hamlet responsible for a designated stretch of the road’s construction. Where the road ran through some villagers’ land a compensation fee of RMB 13,000 was paid to those villagers. Damage to the hydro power station channel was also paid in the sum of RMB 2,000 for cement, explosives, transport fees and tools.

Villagers also contributed funds in the amount of RMB 2,258. The total amount of funds used for the construction of the bridge was RMB 26,769.

Upon completion of the 9.2 km long road, the villagers were very enthusiastic about the road and very grateful to DORS for its contribution towards the project. The amount of time it now takes to reach Hanyuan county town has been cut by more than half. Time spent traveling to and from the village to markets for selling the villager’s produce is reduced and more time can be spent working the fields, raising pigs or doing household chores. There is now also more opportunity for villagers to go out and labour in the neighbouring mines; previously the mine owners were reluctant to employ villagers who lived far away and had nowhere to stay; now with the road some villagers travel back and forth to the village from the mine site.

Animal Sty Improvements (H5)

Funds that had been initially earmarked for improving the condition of animal sties in the village were transferred to support construction of a road. However, DORS later learned that villagers in Hamlet 5 had not been consulted in the change of plans. Therefore, DORS agreed to support this project in hamlet 5 because (i) they were not aware of the transfer of the funds and (ii) they could not benefit directly from the road project.

The project started in April 2001 and ended in April 2003. A total of 2,560 RMB was spent to help the villagers of hamlet 5 build their sties. Villagers were responsible for the whole project with support from DORS staff in areas such as organization of labour. This project aimed to alleviate poverty by developing animal husbandry to increase the income of the villagers. In total, 9 households or 33 people benefited from this project.

Electricity (H6)

In October 2001, DORS received a request from villagers of hamlet 6 in Chalin to connect them to the electricity grid. 6 households, or 27 villagers, benefited from this project that cost 1551 RMB.

Assisting Schoolchildren

See Education for more details

Butter Bean Loan

The butter bean is a main agricultural resource in this village. It is planted annually in the third month of the agricultural calendar and harvested in the tenth month of the agricultural calendar. Butter beans are suited to high altitudes and keep well both for storage and during transportation to market. It does not require a high level of technical expertise, just the right conditions to grow. The villagers requested support for a butter bean loan project.

DORS discussed with villagers how to implement this project. The plan stated that DORS would provide 500 RMB for each household to purchase bean poles. At the same time, a management committee was separately set up to conduct this project in three small groups. Within the committee, a person was selected take responsibility for the project.

The project was well-received because it quickly improved the villagers’ income, in a matter of 7 months. After returning all the loans, villagers again requested new loans to purchase more bean poles.

Most of the project components were funded by the Kadoorie Foundation 2001-2004.