Co To island district recognized as new-style rural area

(VOVworld) - Co To island district in Quang Ninh province has been recognized as a new-style rural area, becoming the first island district in Vietnam to complete the program to build new rural areas. After 5 years of implementing the National Target Program on New Rural Development, Co To has much improved.

Co To island district recognized as new-style rural area - ảnh 1
Deputy PM Vu Van Ninh presents the new rural area certificate to Co To island district.
(Photo: VGP)

Five years ago, Co To islanders had destitute life, lacking electricity, fresh water, and roads. Today, Co To’s face has bettered. Roads have been cemented; fresh water and power have been provided to each house; high buildings have sprung out, standing close together, offering diverse services to serve tourists.

76-year-old Doan Duc Bong of Co To town says the local have contributed to the new rural development program depending on their capacity.

He shared his feeling: “I’ve been living in Co To for 40 years. In the past, there were no asphalted roads. Now roads have been cemented leading to communal alleys. We have gained access to the national electrical grid. Multi-storied schools have been recognized to meet national teaching standards. Previously there was only one medical clinic for two communes. Anyone who got critical illness, they would be transferred to the mainland. Now we have a medical center with 5 doctors. The current living conditions have been beyond our expectation.”

Co To island district recognized as new-style rural area - ảnh 2
Quang Ninh has fulfilled its target of bringing electricity to all island communes after Cai Chien island in Hai Ha district gained access to the national electrical grid on April 28.

Since the national target program on building new-style rural areas was launched, Co To has mobilized nearly 130 million USD for the drive so far.

Both communes in the district have satisfied all program criteria, some of which Co To has reached with high quality. The criteria on labor structure and income are the examples of strong growths with 20% increase from the tourism service a year.

Le Thi Nham who has settled down in Co To for 20 years said she has seen obvious changes in the island.

“My family has moved to live in the island and become strongly attached here. It’s convenient to do business in Co To so we want to stay long in the island. We feel very happy because since the new rural program was implemented, all the roads have been cemented,” said Nham.

Islanders have donated both land and manpower to make cemented inter-village roads and inter-alley roads. Nine reservoirs have been built or upgraded. Nine of ten district schools have been recognized to meet national standards. Co To’s annual per capita income in 2014 hit 2,050 USD.

Pham Thi Mang, a resident in Co To town, elaborated: “Since we have electricity and new rural development has received due attention from all leaders, we’ve just established a seafood association with much investment in equipment, technology, and consultancy to improve product quality and develop brands. Co To has successfully built two brands – Co To squid and Co To ruoi fish. The One Commune One Products (OCOP) Program has helped local people from labeling to packing and transportation. District authorities have also joined programs to sell and promote local brands. A wide range of Co To’s brands have been known nationwide instead of only in Quang Ninh province.”

Co To island district recognized as new-style rural area - ảnh 3
The opening ceremony of the One Commune One Products Center.

Visiting Co To today, tourists can try squid fishing, snorkeling, discovering imposing cliffs and rock and primeval forests. There are more than 1,000 accommodations across the district to serve visitors. Local people have been encouraged to build home-stays to meet the increasing demands of tourists during holidays.

According to Hoang Ba Nam, Secretary of Co To island district, “the local are glad at the achievements after the new rural development program was launched 5 years ago. The results attributed to the focus on designing an appropriate strategy on new rural building and enhancing the improvement of management work. Second, we’ll exert efforts to develop qualified human resources to meet the requirements of economic restructuring. Third is to prioritize the environmental protection and fourth is to further invest in infrastructure and call on more investors.”

The achievements over the past 5 years will be a driver for Co To island district, an used-to-be district depending completely on agriculture, to self better and gradually become a new tourism hub of Quang Ninh. Co To’s success is due to fully tapping democracy and resources from the people.

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