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Village renovations keep beasts at bay

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-27 10:35

GUIYANG-Villager Wang Laochang and his family now safely occupy the house they renovated after sharing the two-story building with livestock for decades.

Wang, 49, lives in a poverty-stricken village in the hinterland of Guizhou province where families are used to sharing their houses with livestock. He said cohabitation is a tradition of the Miao ethnic people in order to prevent their animals from being stolen.

Wang was one of the first villagers to join a government-sponsored project to renovate homes to accommodate both beasts and humans. He said the family's home is much cleaner and healthier since the renovation was completed.

"The animals used to live on the ground floor in a two-story house, or a one-story building that separated the family and the livestock with a wood partition," he said.

However, the animal feces posed health risks to villagers and made the houses and streets in the village unsanitary, especially during rainy days, Wang said.

Since July, local governments across Guizhou have provided financial support to help villagers renovate their houses and improve village infrastructure.

"Villagers are also encouraged to join in the renovations by the offer of rewards, and it's an efficient way to save costs," said Wu Yibiao, an official with the local government of Rongjiang county, where Wang lives.

Wang Jinfu, 69, from a village not far from that of Wang Laochang, moved into his new house in October after receiving 15,000 yuan ($2,164) from the local government when his home was included in the county's poverty-stricken household list.

Wang Jinfu and his wife now live separately from the livestock, and she has made a New Year's resolution to raise several pigs to earn extra money.

Besides renovating houses, local governments also helped villagers with their pig farming by building separate hog pens.

According to statistics issued by Guizhou's Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the province has helped more than 70,000 households improve their living conditions, which has benefited around 280,000 people.


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