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Three Gorges Migrants Well Settled
Yu Caimei, 51, a relocated farmer from Three Gorges Areas in Chongqing to east China's Shandong province, is very satisfied about her new house.

The new house contains four rooms for each of the family and has trees and flowers in the garden.

Yu came with 703 other farmers accompanied by three doctors from Kaixian County in Chongqing to Tai'an county in Shandong. The oldest among them is 91 years old and the youngest only two months.   

Zhang Baoxin, vice director of the Resettlement Affairs Bureau of Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, said that "Every single matter in relocating those farmers is important, because it is related to their living rights."

China plans to move 1.13 million people out of the Three Gorges Areas, over 400,000 of whom are farmers. Analysts say the program reduces pressure on land and other resources in the dam area.

Sources said more than 70,000 farmers will be relocated to rich areas in Shanghai, Shandong and other regions along the Yangtze River or in the country's eastern coastal areas from 2000 to 2002.

In all the areas to receive the resettled, local governments have arranged houses and farmlands for coming farmers.

Local governments also assign three to six people to help those new comers in adapting to the new environment, climate, language and customs.

Li Chuanlin, a native in Tai'an, said her village prepared every new comer daily goods ranging from tooth brush to salt and dining oil. In particular, every kitchen table was placed with a basin of red capsicum, favorite food of Chongqing people.

Migrant Zheng Haiyan, 11, brought with her three doves. She said, "Grandma gave them to me and she is not coming but stays in my hometown."

As soon as she arrived at her new home, Zheng immediately picked up the receiver and gave her grandma a call.

Lin Zuochun, 30, who used to be a taxi-driver in Kaixian County, said, "We are all volunteers to move here. Our homes in Chongqing will be submerged sooner or later, so it is best to migrate early. No matter where you are, success is self-made."

Lin said his 71-year-old mother won't have to be afraid of the cold winter in Shandong, because every household is equipped with heating.

"The government is taking good care of relocated farmers and ensures that they enjoy good lives," Zhang Baoxin said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2002)

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