- POSTED: 11 Dec 2013 12:40
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Six months have passed since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan county in China's Sichuan province. Hundreds of survivors in hard-to-reach mountain villages are still living without proper homes and sanitation.
SICHUAN: Six months have passed since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan county in China's Sichuan province.
Hundreds of survivors in hard-to-reach mountain villages are still living without proper homes and sanitation.
Their condition is all the more dire as winter is descending on the villages in the mountains.
A wooden shack, put together from scrap and no bigger than an office store, has been home to Yang Huafen, her husband and their four-year-old daughter for the past six months.
The family is one of hundreds still struggling to survive, after the earthquake in April destroyed over 250 houses in the hilly Jihong village off Chengdu.
Ms Yang said: "My husband doesn't earn much as a labourer. I can't work as I'm sick. My plot of land can't make money."
The 36-year-old housewife will have to put up with the makeshift shelter for at least another year.
Lack of proper roads and the rocky terrain make it difficult for trucks to transport building materials for new homes.
Tan Seng Chai, group chief corporate officer of CapitaLand Limited and executive director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said: "Accessibility is a major challenge when you do rebuilding and reconstruction like this. That's why there's a lot of need for labour. Our volunteers will come in very handy. Where you see equipment and vehicles are not able to access (some areas), a human chain will help to move things from one place to another, which is an important part of the reconstruction work here."
Shortage of labour is another issue as a majority of able-bodied men have left the village to work in the cities.
Extra help has arrived in the form of volunteers - 84 of them from CapitaLand Hope Foundation spent three days in the village as part of an inaugural expedition to rebuild homes for survivors.
Kristi Inka Raoult, a CapitaLand Hope Foundation volunteer, said: "What struck me was how much they re-used the materials, which is obviously a very good thing, very green. But that takes time as well, because you have to sort out which pieces of wood can be re-used, which ones cannot and which bricks can be re-used. Everything is sorted out, so that again takes time, and then carried from one place to another."
The village did not suffer the brunt of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, but it picked up several important lessons.
Reinforcements made on homes and especially at schools after the 2008 disaster helped residents reduce the number of casualties and extent of overall damage in this year's calamity.
New quake-proof homes will be completed by the end of next year.