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Battle against poverty being won in Tibet

Updated: Sep 1, 2020 By Palden Nyima China Daily Print
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A Tibetan woman works at a clothes production workshop in Shigatse's Samdrubtse district. PALDEN NYIMA/CHINA DAILY

Major investments in infrastructure and new homes improve life for villagers. Palden Nyima reports from Lhasa.

Access to fresh water used to be a major concern for Tibetan villager Migmar.

She had to take a 40-minute round trip on a tractor every two days to haul water home in a container across rough terrain. Taking showers and doing laundry were luxuries for the community leader and her fellow villagers in Saga county in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region.

Fast forward three years, and Layak village, 180 kilometers from the county seat in the southwestern part of Tibet, now has taps that provide potable water at the "top of the world".

"Our village had no proper roads or safe drinking water before 2016. But now, all the families have access to tap water and the village is connected by paved roads," said Migmar, 49, who is the village leader.

The roads and pipelines have helped lay the groundwork for a significant improvement in the villagers' lives, with Layak one of the latest places to benefit from the country's drive to alleviate poverty.

Measures to boost villagers' incomes by helping them transition from traditional herding and farming have also reaped encouraging rewards, Migmar said.

"To make the shift, village officials organized a great deal of training for residents to help them learn different skills such as cooking, welding and driving excavators and loaders," she said. "That has also helped villagers change their views on work and income."

Tibet has been one of China's main battlefields against poverty since the central government launched a nationwide effort in 2016 to improve the lives of the poor.

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