Rural revamp improves livelihoods in China village

BEIJING, Jan. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by on a village in Huai’an, Jiangsu province.

Zhangxing community, a village in Huai’an, Jiangsu province, used to be a messy and disorderly area with many of its residents effected by poor housing conditions.

But today when visitors tour around the community, they will be surprised at what they see–wide roads, neat houses, a primary school, a supermarket and a hospital.

Zhangxing was a beneficiary of the project launched by the Huai’an city government in 2018 to improve living conditions in rural areas.

"We prioritized people’s needs as we implemented the project," said Wen Zaijian, head of Zhangxing community. "The design proposal was determined after several meetings with the villagers."

Villagers’ new houses and the livable environment in Zhangxing community in the Jiangsu city of Huai’an.
Villagers’ new houses and the livable environment in Zhangxing community in the Jiangsu city of Huai’an.

Villagers’ new houses and the livable environment in Zhangxing community in the Jiangsu city of Huai’an.

As a result, Zhangxing community, with a population of 2,076, had revamped 212 old houses and built 186 new houses by the end of 2020.

Villager Shen Yulian, for example, left the old bungalow where she had lived for nearly 30 years and moved into a two-story house with a floor space of 130 square meters thanks to the project.

"I love the new house for its ample space and lights. My grandson now has his own room," Shen said.

The community environment was also enhanced through planting more trees, demolishing illegal buildings and installing more sports and entertainment facilities.

Wen looked rather emotional as he witnessed the transformation of his hometown. "It was such a beautiful place," he said.

Following the relocation of residents living in poor houses, the government utilized local resources and strength to raise people’s income.

Located at the northeast of the community is an industrial park. The park with a group of fabric and cable manufacturers can offer 200 jobs to local residents.

Apart from working in the factories, villagers were encouraged to participate in rural tourism.

In cooperation with a tourism company, the community built a scenic area around the local lake. Tourists can appreciate the natural beauty by boat, taste local delicacies and

experience various rural activities such as horse riding, fishing and barbecuing.

During the trial operation in last year’s May Day holiday from May 1-5, the scenic area received about 30,000 visits, racking up revenue of 70,000 yuan ($1,1005).

Also, villagers leased 436 pieces of farmland to families who live in surrounding cities.

The land, mostly used by city dwellers to harvest organic produce and as sites for their children to study farming-related topics, is estimated to bring about an income of 280,000 yuan to locals each year, Wen said.

Last year, Zhangxing’saverage yearly income per capita increased by about 61.3 percent to 25,800 yuan.

The city of Huai’an had completed 140 housing renovation projects as of September, benefiting 51,000 households in rural areas.

More than Zhangxing, multiple villages in the city have been upgraded to modern communities and cultivated theiradvantageous industries.

Zhang Guoliang, deputy Party secretary of the city, said the improvement of housing conditions is a key step for Huai’an to promote rural revitalization.

Based on the housing-renovation projects, Huai’an will continue to improve its rural environment and enhance services for residents to build a beautiful, livable, and modern countryside in the near future, Zhang said.

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