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China’s Last “Desert Tribe” Moves Into New Home

ByIsma Haziq

Sitting in the hinterland of China’s largest desert Taklimakan, Daliyabuyi Town in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has bidden farewell to absolute poverty thanks to the nation’s poverty alleviation program.

Living for generations in the center of the “Sea of Death”, local people of Daliyabuyi Town used to live in houses built with mud, reeds, and the branches of populus euphratica and rose willows, and have limited access to stable income and public services due to the harsh natural environment and poor infrastructure.

Among 363 households in the town, 299 had been listed as the poverty-stricken ones before 2016.

Three years later, the last “desert tribe” finally bid farewell to the backward style of production and life, and moved into a new modern village with better access to drinking water, electricity, transport and communications on Sept. 27, 2019, thanks to the nation’s poverty alleviation resettlement project.

The day also marked the fulfillment of the resettlement program for poverty alleviation in Xinjiang.

Local people, both the young and old, all expressed their affection for the new homes and schools.

“The new house is really nice to live in. It’s good!” said a senior.

“Our new home is fully equipped with drinking water, electricity, heating radiator, TV and washing machine. My children can watch their favorite cartoons every day,” said a mother.

“We can play basketball, rope skipping as well as volleyball, ping pong and badminton in the new school. I really like to be here,” said a pupil.

The local government has also adopted measures to facilitate employment and develop local tourism.

The last 10 impoverished counties in Xinjiang including Yutian managed to end absolute poverty on Nov. 14, 2020, according to the regional government. All the 10 counties are in southern Xinjiang, where the country’s largest desert is located.

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