Depending on Ourselves and Helping Each Other
In Jiadian relocation site in Foya Township, Wudu District, Longnan City, most new houses have been roofed. Jiadian Village was in the first group of key reconstruction sites in Foya, and work started here one month after the earthquake. Of its 95 quake-hit households, 37 chose to rebuild their homes at the foot of the mountain, not far from their original village.
Staff working in the Reconstruction Command Center told China Today that there are government functionaries in charge of the transportation and supply of construction materials. Local villagers carried out construction themselves. Residents moved into their new homes in October. Each family has at least three rooms. Jiao Yaya, a five-year-old girl, spent five months with her parents in a tent. She entered primary school in September. "I have to walk an hour to school, but I don't feel tired at all," she said resolutely. According to the new village construction plan, there will be a primary school and health care center in each village, and every household will have a methane tank in their courtyard. When the plan is realized, children like Yaya will be able to study near their homes again.
"The government will allocate RMB 20,000 to each family for reconstruction in severely damaged areas like Wudu District," explained staff working at Reconstruction Command Center.
Fan Guilin and his neighbors had more worries than most. They just laid the foundations of their new homes, located alongside a road near Jiadian Village. Fan Guilin's old home was in Laohuaishu Village. However, Sijiaba, where they have been relocated, falls under the jurisdiction of another village. As land is the collective property of the village, Fan has to consult with the Village Committee to rent the land. Finally, they made the deal at a price of RMB 45,000 per mu (or 1/6 acre). Fifteen households, including Fan's family, built their new homes in an area of less than 5 mu at the foot of a mountain.
Each new house comprises four rooms, with an estimated construction cost of RMB 50,000 to 60,000. The government earmarked a subsidiary of RMB 20,000 for every family that was seriously affected by the disaster, but victims need to raise the remaining money themselves. Fan Guilin said that the central government offered a loan of RMB 30,000 to each family. "The price of construction materials has gone up dramatically," said Fan. "The good news is that we can purchase materials from certain brick and cement suppliers designated by the government. Their prices are over 30 percent lower than the market level, which eases some of the burden on us."
The new houses are brick-concrete structures, and reinforcing steel bars are now a must for houses in rural areas. "The government requires that all houses meet certain quakeproof standards," said Fan.
Qiu Yingqi tells China Today that the government guaranteed that all victims living in tents and have warm clothes and quilts in winter.
The new home of Yang Xiaoying, a villager in Fengjiaya Village, was under construction, scheduled to be completed by the end of December. However, the pace of building was slow. "We know that our government does care about us. But due to the large number of victims, we can understand when the process slows down sometimes."