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09:15 Feb 12 2009

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Sichuan to improve living conditions of Tibetan herdsmen
09:14, February 12, 2009  

The Government of Sichuan Province in Western China plans to improve living and production conditions of local Tibetan herdsmen. The file photo shows safe drinking water is introduced to dwelling places of Tibetan herdsmen. (Photo:

The Government of Sichuan Province in Western China plans to spend 18 billion yuan (about 2.6 billion U.S. dollars) on improving living and production conditions of local Tibetan herdsmen.

Herdsman Gesang from Seda County in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is delighted to learn from a government official that he will soon have a house of his own with the government's assistance.

An overall plan released last week by the Provincial Government shows that the government will construct in four years 1,409 settlements covering a total area of 10 million square meters in 29 pastoral counties. Costing 18 billion yuan RMB, the project will benefit some 480,000 unsettled or poorly sheltered herdsmen and their families.

The settlement project includes construction of tent houses, stock sheds, heating sheepfolds, forage storages, community centers, schools, clinics, and other related facilities for drinking water, electricity, communication, broadcasting, and television.

Priority will be given to the development of tourism and livestock breeding with speical characteristics. The living standard of herdsmen, public service and infrastructure in pastoral area will be improved substantially.

Fund for public infrastructure construction will come primarily from government investment, while dwelling places of herdsmen will be paid largely by themselves, with credits and subsidies from the government. As for construction fund for settlement houses, stock-sheds, heating sheepfolds and forage storages, each family (five people) will be granted a 10,000-yuan subsidies.

Statistics show that among 112,000 families of 533,000 herdsmen, 88.6 percent are unsettled or only poorly sheltered, and that most of them live in simply equipped self-made tents with poor sanitary conditions. According to a survey, 97.83 percent of herdsmen are eager to settle down, and 98.14 percent are willing to build houses on their own.

Source: Xinhua

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