Massive Ningxia relocation set to start soon

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To enable the migrants to enjoy better lives and bid farewell to poverty, Wang said the local government has made detailed arrangements to ensure every migrant family has at least "one greenhouse" and raises "two cows", and one member of the family has a job in the cities.

"The migration project is not simply a population move, but also a change from their traditional lives," he said. "The increase in income will help the migrants develop in a stable way and end a life of relying on the weather."

A survey, released by local media early this year, showed that some towns in the Xihaigu area have suffered drought in the past 10 years and annual family income is less than 2,000 yuan.

Ma Xifeng, who works on the project in Tongxin county, said on his micro blog that the poverty of local villagers was striking.

He recorded online that a woman has to share one pair of trousers with her husband, so when the husband goes to work she has to stay in bed.

Despite the poverty and drought, some local residents are still unwilling to move, due to their strong links with their hometowns and their concerns over making a fresh start in a new place.

Bai Shangcheng, mayor of Guyuan, a city in southern Ningxia that plans to move 230,000 people, accounting for two thirds of the total number of people to be relocated, told China Daily that they may face many problems and some "fierce conflict".

"We have fully prepared for solving every potential trouble. About 10,000 officials will be dispatched to persuade people and do related jobs," he said.

"For villages with a population of more than 500 residents, most of whom are Hui people, a mosque will be built in their new area," Wang said.

"For the children, it will be a worthy move because it will provide them with a better education," he said.

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