More than 1,500 people are benefitting from an ambitious Islamic Relief project to transform a village in China’s northeastern province of Sichuan.

The integrated development scheme is designed to improve living conditions and access to basic services, as well as alleviate poverty in Lingshan village, Huiling Township, Tongjiang County.

Poor families now have running water at home.

Poor families now have running water at home.

Since work began in summer 2012, we have improved the village road, transforming it from a bumpy, steep track so local people – particularly farming families – are better able to get their produce and livestock to market.

“I have a lot of difficulties in my daily life, such as water shortage and food shortages,” said Zeng Xintai, 52. “We live in this mountainous arid village, where irrigation water and drinking water is a big headache for us. The situation is even worse for the livestock.”

New water and bio-gas systems

In the drought season, rainwater sources dry up. Before the project, around 60 per cent of families were forced to travel a kilometer to the nearest source of water. But now, families in the village are benefitting from a new water supply system which provides running water at home and for livestock.

The project has also seen the installation of 300 bio-gas pools, which provide families with energy for cooking at home. Using bio-gas enables families to cut the cost of purchasing fuel, and also helps to protect the local environment as people cut fewer trees for fuel.

Access to education and healthcare

Bio-gas pools provide homes with a source of energy.

Bio-gas pools provide homes with a source of energy.

A village school was also constructed to provide children with a safe learning environment, close to home, whilst a new healthcare station is boosting access to primary care.

“Islamic Relief has helped my community in many aspects. Since Islamic Relief came, the township has improved. We have water tanks which save our time and money, and also reduces the effort of finding water.

“We have a proper road, we have bio-gas pools which saves our firewood. We have new school, [now] it is not necessary for children to travel far every day. And finally, we have new health station.”

The project – which completed last month – was delivered by a local partner and funded by Islamic Relief UK and Islamic Relief Germany.