|Border guards instruct La Hu ethnic people how to grow macadamia trees. (Photo: VOV)
In a spacious and solid new house, Phan Le Xa of Tan Bien hamlet, Pa U commune, Muong Te district, recalled a story that took place a few years ago when his family and other villagers came down from the mountain to build a new hamlet.
One day the officers and soldiers of the Pa U border station persuaded his father, Phan Xa Cho, a prestigious person in the La Hu community, to go to every household and convince the people to give up their nomadic lifestyle and settle in a new hamlet.
To persuade them, the border guard had to spend time living, eating, and working with them, and teach them how to grow wet rice and other crops and raise cattle and poultry.
Xa recalled, “Pa U border guards helped us build new houses. Once the houses were built, the locals felt more secure about settling down and economic conditions became more stable. The soldiers also helped with cattle breeding and got us to clean the barns so the cattle would suffer fewer diseases. Our lives are getting better and better.”
Everyone in Nhu Ma hamlet is a La Hu ethnic who used to live in the mountains. At first, they resisted the change. Then a team of reputable people, including Ly Xa Pu, was mobilized to help with the campaign.
“We did our best to explain to the people what they should and should not do. The hardest thing was persuading the children to go to school. We finally persuaded the villagers to let their children attend school regularly,” Pu said.
|Soldiers of Pa U border station help the locals build houses. (Photo: VOV)
Pa U commune has 870 households of 3,700 people. More than 98% of them are ethnic La Hu. Pa U used to be a poor, backward area with a 95% poverty rate.
Since the border guard persuaded the people to set up a new village, and develop a farming and breeding model, the poverty rate has dropped from 89% to 77%. The villagers have planted nearly 300 hectares of ginseng, black cardamom, cinnamon, orange, and plum.
Major Ngo Van Phuong, commissar of the Pa U border station, said that the local Party committees and administrations and border guards have encouraged the locals to get involved in strengthening their political, cultural and social foundations and strictly abide by the Party guidelines and State laws.
“The people have been encouraged to join the border guards and local administrations in defending the national borders and territorial sovereignty and ensuring social order and safety in the area,” said Phuong.
Today Pa U commune has a new look with spacious houses, terraced fields, and fruit orchards, thanks to the support of local officials and soldiers.