NANCHANG, June 25 -- Huang Fengying, 45, has spent most of her life on a boat on Lake Doushui, a reservoir in east China' s Jiangxi Province.
She usually gets up at 4 a.m., prepares breakfast for her daughter, then takes her to the elementary school on the other side of the reservoir, a 40 minute cruise. Huang spends the rest of the day on the boat with her husband, fishing. If they are lucky, they catch a dozen or so fish, and make about 20 yuan (3.20 U.S. dollars) a day.
The small boat is extremely cold in winter and very hot in summer. It is nothing more than a wooden floor covered with bamboo and a bark roof, equipped with a few simple household items. The roof leaks when it rains -- a frequent occurrence -- and the boat is always very damp. Both Huang and her husband Liang Xuerwu, also 45, have arthritis and rheumatism from years in the mist, rain and wind.
Fishing is not a great way to make a living in the locale, and the family have been struggling for years. They only earn 4,000 yuan a year. Huang also grows some vegetables in a nearby village.
"I try not to get sick, which helps save some money for my daughter's schooling," said Huang, who is not in very good health. "Besides, the hospital is too far away," she added.
The couple' s biggest concern is safety. "It can be very dangerous here. You might slip into the water and drown, particularly when the flood season comes." They are especially watchful of their 11-year-old daughter.
About 5,000 people lead this kind of isolated life in Jiangxi. Sixty years ago a hydroelectric plant was built to exploit local tungsten ore. The reservoir flooded villages and most people moved onto islands or new lakeside settlements.
Huang and her family will soon bid farewell to their waterlogged life, as a new government policy has promised them a house on dry land.
In 2012 the government decided to relocate the "floating population" in southern Jiangxi. Each family will be given 40,000 yuan along with their new home. They can also apply for low interest loans.
Government at the local level have tried to develop local industries and train the fishermen for new jobs after the relocation.
Scores of families have already moved. As Saturday marks the two year anniversary of the policy, more are expected to relocating, including Liang' s family.
"My biggest wish was to move into a new house on the land, and I am so happy that my dream is coming true," Huang said.