Chieng Khuong border commune changes to a new-style rural area

(VOVWORLD) - Chieng Khuong is the first border commune in Song Ma district, Son La province, to become a new-style rural area and the first commune in the province to meet the upgraded criteria for new rural area. Since the program was launched here a decade ago, Chieng Khuong has changed visibly and locals’ living conditions have improved.
Chieng Khuong border commune changes to a new-style rural area - ảnh 1The trans-village road in Chieng Khuong has been paved.

The paved road leading to Quyet Thang hamlet runs through orchards of mango and longan trees laden with fruit.

As a leading hamlet in building new roads in Song Ma district, Quyet Thang has asphalted the main road and all the secondary roads near the hamlet, making it easier to travel and transport goods.

In a spacious stilt house surrounded by fruit trees, Thai ethnic Lo Van Hoi told VOV that traveling used to be very difficult, especially on rainy days.  

Hoi recalled, “The hamlet planned to build a kindergarten for the local children. But with no available land in the hamlet, the kindergarten would have to be built in the town. Poor roads meant the local children, particularly ones from poor families, would have a hard time getting to school. My family decided to donate 400 square meters of land for school building and road expansion.”

Chieng Khuong has 23 hamlets with nearly 2,800 households of Kinh, Thai, Sinh Mun, and Kho Mu ethnic groups, and a 20km border with Laos.

Chieng Khuong was the first border commune in Son La province recognized as a new-style rural area, thanks to good models and new initiatives. It raised more than 3 million USD for infrastructure improvement. More than half of that was from the State budget. The rest was contributed by local people. Villagers contributed 31,000 man-days and donated 12,000 square meters of land to complete 50 km of roads. Every hamlet built a cultural house.

Chieng Khuong border commune changes to a new-style rural area - ảnh 2A Chieng Khuong villager is caring his longan garden. (Photo: VNA)

Luu Van Cuong, Chairman of Chieng Khuong commune’s People's Committee, said the villagers responded enthusiastically to the program, which has really improved their lives, especially the ethnic minorities.

According to Cuong, “Chieng Khuong was chosen to pilot new-style rural building during the 2010-2020 period but the commune reached the finish line in July 2017, 3 years ahead of schedule. The Chieng Khuong People’s Committee and Border Station encouraged local people to donate land and man-days to build rural roads. And the Border Station worked with businesses, individuals, and organizations to fund the removal of thatched houses.”

Chieng Khuong has worked hard to get people involved by convincing them that the program is for their benefit.

Communications sessions have been held to make them see how building a new rural area benefits them personally.

Party members in charge of Party cells have regularly come to the hamlets to explain the program’s aims, help them develop new economic models, and change their perceptions.

“We’ve set a target that by 2025, Chieng Khuong will be recognized as an advanced new-style rural area, with 50-70% of its communes becoming role-model rural communes. According to a recent review, the commune has met 11 of 16 advanced criteria for new-style rural areas. That achievement is due to the locals’ enthusiastic contribution to building roads and reducing poverty,” Cuong said.