A local resident is seen at her home in Bahao Village, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. [Photo: China Plus/Wang Xin]
Situated in the deep mountains, Bahao Village is among the poverty-stricken areas in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Local officials have relied on road construction and home visits to help their constituents live a better life.
There are almost 500 families in Bahao, and nearly 70% of them live in poverty. The village residents are all of the Yao ethnic group. For generations, they have lived in the mountains. Villagers must walk along the long and rocky mountain paths to get to the outside world.
However, a main road that was built in recent years to reach the village has changed the way the villagers live.
A recently built main road connects Bahao Village to the outside world in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. [Photo: China Plus/Wang Xin]
"Since 2014, people living in three clusters of Bahao Village have gradually moved to areas along the two sides of the main road. More and more people have moved out of the deep mountains since 2016. Currently, 60% of the people in the three areas have built new houses along the road," said Meng Zhaoyang, the director of a local poverty alleviation office.
A residential house is almost completed along the main road in Bahao Village, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. [Photo: China Plus/Wang Xin]
Additionally, a pairing system has been established as part of the poverty reduction efforts. Those families that are still living below the poverty line and may need assistance are paired with local officials like Qin Hanfeng, who has been dispatched to guide the poverty alleviation efforts in Bahao since 2015.
"Primarily, our colleagues who are part of the poverty alleviation efforts visit each family at the beginning of the year. They will find out how the families are living and make suggestions on their plans to reach beyond the poverty line," explained Qin.
There are 32 naturally inhabited clusters in Bahao, most of which are not connected by road. There are no cell phone signals, let alone Internet connection. The pairing system ensures that the village residents can be notified of the poverty alleviation policies.
"We help those poverty-stricken families apply for subsidies, like education funding, basic living allowances and endowment insurance. For families with migrant workers, we will try our best to provide training. We will contact them as soon as we have their latest employment information," added Qin.
Residents of Bahao Village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have traditionally replied on mountain paths to travel. [Photo: China Plus/Wang Xin]
In early 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that local leadership is crucial to the development of the country's rural areas. Xi Jinping said local officials shall put the country's policies well into practice and make all efforts to help their constituents live a good life.
Currently, people in Bahao mostly make their living by working as migrant workers elsewhere. Some have been able to lift their families beyond the poverty line by doing so.
A new road is being built in Bahao Village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. [Photo: China Plus/Wang Xin]
After examining the local geographical and living conditions, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization once deemed the village unsuitable for human occupancy. China's poverty alleviation policies offer options to those who want to voluntarily relocate from their home regions that are affected by harsh natural conditions. However, many residents of Bahao have chosen to remain in the mountains.
Most villagers believe that more road construction will be the key to a better life.