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Earthquake Projects Report – One Year On

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NZCFS Earthquake Projects in China, May 2009

The earthquake of May 12, 2008, with its epicentre in Sichuan, killed over 70,000 people, several million were left homeless, and many farmers’ livelihoods were destroyed. New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) made a major fundraising effort nationwide, in many places in partnership with other organisations such as the Chinese Association. A total of $36,741 was raised.

NZCFS executive members Sally Russell and Dave Bromwich spent several weeks in August last year in Sichuan and neighbouring Shaanxi province, which also suffered damage from the devastating earthquake. As an outcome of this visit NZCFS supported 3 communities in these areas with four projects. The sums raised were used to apply for further grants of $219,617 from NZAID emergency relief and community development project funds. These are the HAF, Humanitarian Action Fund, and KOHA, Partnerships for International Community Development Fund. The total sent was $256,358 to four projects either for reconstruction work or to assist rural people get their livelihood back on track.

In April this year, Dave Bromwich visited the NZCFS project sites in China and was pleased to see the projects our fundraising has supported nearing completion. The overall progress being made in reconstruction throughout the devastated regions is reported to be ahead of schedule. The projects supported, with updates on progress from the April 2009 visit of NZCFS executive member Dave Bromwich, are as follows:

Sichuan Province

In the following two projects in Sichuan, NZCFS has ICCIC, or Gung Ho, as our China partner, and they are using the Pengzhou Rural Development Bureau to implement the project at a local level.

Livelihood reconstruction in Pengzhou County, Sichuan.
NZCFS $ 6,907 HAF $62,164

Pengzhou County borders Wenchuan County (where the epi-centre was) so the overall damage is severe.

Pengzhou is a major vegetable supply area for Chengdu and other parts of China, and in the community of Huang village selected for this project, the earthquake damage to irrigation channels caused farmers annual income to drop from 2,300 RMB to 880 RMB. There are 886 households in this project.

Local Government is responsible for the main channels and have secured funding for that repair work and this project is to provide materials to reconstruct 1500 metres of minor irrigation channels which farmers are responsible for. An extra requirement was identified to re-level land prior to repairing channels, and this cost is being met by local government.

In mid-April, all reconstruction work was well underway, with an expected completion date of early May.

Post earthquake community rehabilitation of selected communities in Pengzhou county, Sichuan.
NZCFS $9,103 KOHA $36,414

This project will work in two areas to develop co-operatives; in Danjingshan township to assist with the development of a tea industry and in the three villages communities of Paifang Vegetable Cooperative where the existing irrigation channel repair project is occurring. In Danjingshan, the tourism industry was destroyed by the earthquake causing major despoiling of the scenic beauty. Tea is seen as a very suitable alternative industry. This project commenced in April 2009, and will continue until the end of the year, with training including enhancing cooperative management and marketing by the cooperative. This project will eventually benefit over 5000 households.

Shaanxi Province

Walnuts in Lueyang County, Shaanxi with Shaanxi Women’s Federation (SXWF)
NZCFS $14,088 KOHA $56,253

This project is designed to assist farmers from villages in Guozhen township who have lost their houses in the mountains with an improved income from farming through the planting of a new variety of walnut on dwarf rootstocks for early returns, and to improve their chestnut varieties. Between November 9th-15th forestry technical staff and Lueyang Women’s Federation were in Guozhen to provide guidance to the villagers and all the walnut trees were planted. On April 3 Dave Bromwich attended a training session for grafting chestnuts organized for farmers from 15 villages.

Honghuapu Township Clinic reconstruction with Shaanxi Women’s Federation
NZCFS $ 6,643 HAF $64,786

The clinic is in the poorest township in Fengxian County, Shaanxi province, where Rewi Alley worked and lived. The earthquake damaged the foundations of the clinic, and it was condemned. The total cost to rebuild is $404,000 and with contributions of $215,000 from the Red Cross, $65,000 from local government and NZCFS’ $71,429 this leaves a shortfall of $52,571 which they will be able to get through government loans. On April 1 Dave Bromwich inspected the clinic rebuilding, and the main construction is expected to be completed by early May, with the building ready for use by August. The construction design uses heavy steel reinforcing to withstand a future minimum 8.0 earthquake. The new clinic will have capacity to provide more extensive medical services, including for pregnant women, and deliver to a broader community than the previous clinic. There are over 6000 people who will directly use this clinic.

You can download a PDF of the report “Earthquake Projects Report – One Year On“.