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Making houses into quake-proof, comfortable homes

By Ju Chuanjiang,Zhao Ruixue (China Daily)

08:43, May 22, 2012

Uygur children at a kindergarten in Yengisar county, Xinjiang, say hello in Mandarin to visitors in April. The kindergarten was built with the help of Shandong province. (China Daily/Ju Chuanjiang)

Two years ago, 62-year-old Enwer was reluctant to move out of his adobe house even though it was cracking and vulnerable to tremors.

Now he can't wait to move into his new home.

"For the new home, we not only had to use up all of our savings but borrow at least 20,000 yuan ($3,200) from the bank. We didn't think it was worth it," Enwer said.

"Besides, although the new home is solid, it may not be as comfortable as the old ones we have lived in for generations," Enwer added.

In 2010, Enwer's village in Yengisar county, Kashgar prefecture, in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was chosen by the Shandong provincial government as a pilot for a project to restore dilapidated houses.

The pilot was part of a national program launched in 2010 that requires 19 developed provinces and cities to offer economic assistance to Xinjiang.

However, this project didn't go smoothly at first nearly all the villagers were opposed to it.

They didn't change their minds until last year when some were chosen to conduct fact-finding research in Shandong villages.

During the research, Enwer marveled at the fruit trees, greenhouse vegetables and well-equipped houses that rural Shandong residents have been enjoying for decades.

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