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Tibetan villagers resettled to improve living standard

By Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-01 09:54
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In a culmination of years of planning, the final group of residents from one of the highest villages in Xizang was recently relocated.

A total of 143 villagers from 37 households from Jigkyob village, located at 4,900 meters above sea level, in Lhaze county in the Xizang autonomous region were relocated to a lower altitude settlement this week, providing them with better public services and a more promising future.

In 2016, the first of the resettlements began in the village with the 65 most impoverished households being relocated.

The new settlement is 4,012 meters above sea level, and the move was celebrated on Tuesday with a relocation ceremony as the keys to their new houses were handed over.

The settlement features utilities including water and electricity, and is connected to the telecom network. The transportation system is convenient, and the surrounding infrastructure is comprehensive, according to local officials.

Jigkyob is the highest village in Lhaze county, whose residents live off animal husbandry and migrant work.

Kelsang Gyatso, Party secretary of Jigkyob village, said due to its location and financial limitations, the village faced many challenges such as a fragile environment, inadequate infrastructure and extreme weather.

"Water and electricity are scarce resources for our villagers, and the high altitude, cold climate, and lack of oxygen are the most realistic challenges faced by our residents," said Kelsang Gyatso.

Herdsmen in the village are populated scarcely, and heavy snowfall occurs frequently from October every year, rendering all vehicles inoperable and forcing the residents to travel on foot, he said.

"This relocation project aims to provide more convenience to the community, enabling them to access essential public services such as education and healthcare facilities in close proximity," he added.

The relocation project was supported and funded by Aid-Xizang cadres from Shanghai.

Gong Airu, head of the Shanghai's working group on the pairing campaign in Lhaze, and deputy executive secretary of the county, said after over a year of hard work, the initial stage of the residential project has been concluded. The new residential site emphasizes the use of clean energy and prioritizes the construction of environmentally-friendly projects.

"As a result, the quality of life and growth opportunities for the villagers is expected to undergo a fundamental improvement."

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