Relocated poor embrace new life in Xinjiang’s Akto county
By:People's Daily Online

Akto county in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region has lifted people out of poverty by relocating those living in inhospitable areas and moving them to new residences while boosting industrial development.

A village in Akto county (Photo/Xinjiang Daily)

Akto is a national-level poverty-stricken county. It sits at an average altitude of 4,670 meters, and 96 percent of the county is made up of mountainous and cold areas.

To shake off poverty, the county has implemented a basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation and elimination, which is a key part of its fight against poverty, according to Liu Jiansheng, Akto’s Party chief.

The policy has particularly benefited farmers and herdsmen of all ethnic groups in the county, who have embraced new lives thanks to the relocation policy, Liu added.

“We began to implement the relocation policy at the end of 2017. Many poor people could hardly wait to move to the relocation sites, which had convenient transportation, a complete infrastructure and industries,” said Hou Zhenqi, Party chief of Akto’s Qarlung township, adding that all impoverished people in the township had been moved to a new residential compound.

The compound boasts a complete set of utilities including water, power, gas and heating supply as well as drainage. It covers an area of 138,000 square meters and is only 10 km from the county. As the largest relocation site in Akto, it also has a kindergarten, a primary school, and a health center.

So far, 6,593 impoverished people from 1,656 households have been relocated to the compound.

“I’m 81 years old now. I never thought I could move from a stone house and live in an apartment in the county,” said Memetiming Maimaiti Nuer, a villager from Qarlung township who now lives in the compound.

Turhan Eyida, a 70-year-old man from the township, shed tears while recalling his past life in a cold stone house in a village 360 km away from Akto. His family had no stable source of income, and made a living by grazing livestock.

Thanks to the poverty alleviation policy, most of the relocated households in the county now work in controlled-environment agriculture. Each of them was given a greenhouse, and Turhan Eyida signed a contract for another one. Last year, he earned more than 30,000 yuan from the two greenhouses and was commended by the county government for his poverty alleviation efforts.

So far, 1,703 vegetable greenhouses and 357 hectares of open fields have been planted with vegetables in Akto. On average, farmers can earn about 15,000 yuan from each greenhouse.

The livestock of the relocated people have also been brought under unified management. In Qarlung township, 162 herdsmen are responsible for about 12,000 cows and 19,000 sheep belonging to 847 households. Through this approach, the other locals can engage in agriculture or seek work elsewhere.