Thu. May 19th, 2022

Bright young Vietnamese head home for summer camp

Nearly 200 outstanding young overseas Vietnamese from 24 countries worldwide attend a 20-day Summer Camp in Viet Nam.

The summer camp for young overseas Vietnamese has themed this year’s event “10 years – The call of the homeland”, to mark its 10th anniversary. The annual event began yesterday in the northern province of Ha Giang.

Summer Camp, Buon Chao resettlement zone, Phu Yen, seaplane pilots

Young overseas Vietnamese join the opening ceremony of Viet Nam Summer Camp 2013 yesterday, July 14, in northern mountainous Ha Giang Province.

Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, Nguyen Thanh Son said the event was designed to help young overseas Vietnamese better understand the origin of their nation’s culture and thereby enhancing their attachment to the country.

In Ha Giang, participants will pay tribute to fallen soldiers at a cemetery in Vi Xuyen District, engage in an artistic exchange with other children from the province, and also visit the Thanh Thuy border gate in addition to visiting other notable border markers. The will conclude their activities with a visit to the Lung Cu flagpole and the Dong Van Stone Plateau.

Vu Huyen Trang, 20, from Bulgaria said: “I am so moved to set foot in Ha Giang. Our visit has taught us about our ancestors’ struggle to defend the national border.”

Young participants will visit the country’s nine provinces and cities before the camp concludes on July 30. The closing ceremony will be held in the province of Ca Mau.

Japanese-funded stretch of highway temporarily opens to ease congestion

A section of the new National Highway 3, linking the capital city of Ha Noi with the northern province of Thai Nguyen was put into temporary use on Saturday.

A ceremony marking the opening of this section of highway took place in Thai Nguyen’s Thuan Thanh District. It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

The national highway is the first Japanese-funded project to open to traffic. The 63.8km road will connect the capital city with the northern province of Thai Nguyen via Bac Ninh Province.

The project exceeded VND10 trillion (US$476.2 million), with more than VND6.6 trillion ($314 million) being funded by Japan’s official development assistance.

Addressing the event, Deputy PM Hai said the new section of road would help ease traffic congestion and also contribute to the socio-economic development of the northern provinces, particularly Thai Nguyen. He asked the Transport Ministry to accelerate the highway construction project, which is currently only half-finished, to ensure that work is completed and the road operational by the end of this year.

Charity responds to Mandela Day

South Africa’s Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on July 14 presented 100 scholarships to disadvantaged children in the city, as part of its charitable activities in response to Mandela International Day (July 18).

Beneficiaries were Cham ethnic students living in Ward 1, District 8, each of whom received VND500,000 each.

The Honorary Consul General of South Africa, Do Thi Kim Lien, said the charitable work will be expanded in the future, in efforts to foster the friendship between South Africa and Vietnam.

Mandela was hailed as one of the 21st century’s heroes for his great contributions to the fight for peace and anti-racial discrimination in South Africa.

Costly resettlement zone barely occupied

The Buon Chao resettlement zone in the central province of Phu Yen, built to accommodate residents moved from their homes to make way for the Ba Ha River Hydro-power plant, has attracted only eight families after six years in use.

The shortage of farming land in the area has been blamed and scrutiny is now turning towards the planning authorities who sanctioned the costly construction of the site.

The 16-hectare zone was built in 2004 at a cost of VND20 billion (US$960,000) to accommodate nearly 70 households, mostly ethnic Ede minorities from Bau Village in Song Hinh District’s Ea Ba Commune. The residents were told that their homes would be submerged by the reservoir of the new Ba Ha plant.

Before the Buon Chao resettlement quarter was built, the Song Hinh People’s Committee held a referendum about the move, in which most local residents made clear their disapproval because of the 10km distance from their original homes and land and the lack of transport means.

They also pointed out the shortage of farm land in Buon Chao and questioned how they would earn a living. The residents proposed an alternative site for resettlement, closer to their old homes and farms.

However, their protests were ignored and the Buon Chao resettlement quarter was built, with a 2.5km network of roads, a kindergarten, a small primary school and 25 wells.

Upon its opening in July 2007, only 13 households moved to the new zone, and most of them returned to their old village very quickly.

Recognising that the resettlement plan had not been effective, in 2008 the Song Hinh People’s Committee decided to set up another zone in Buon Bau, 1km away from the residents’ old houses.

The new quarter was 11ha large and cost VND5.4 billion ($250,000) to be built. The residents agreed and moved to the new accommodation, where they were issued with 1,000sq.m of space and 200ha of land for farming and oxen grazing.

Now, only eight families remain in the Buon Chao quarter. Their main income comes from a little cassava field. They are isolated from other towns and communes because the road does not have any trees providing shade for the long walk to other communities, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Now, supplies regularly run dry and wells about 12m in depth remain untapped.

Ma Ach, who was the first to go to Buon Chao, said he used to live on 2.6ha of upland rice farm and had more than 1,000sq.m of wet rice. Now his family has to rely on the cassava trees.

Deputy chairman of the Ea Ba Commune People’s Committee Ksor Y Ton said that historically Buon Chao was a difficult place to live, with families struggling to survive there throughout the war years.

“It is too far from the commune’s centre and becomes isolated in the rainy season, making travel impossible,” he stated.

He declared that the construction of the zone had been badly planned and caused a huge waste of money.

Landslide-trapped Vietnamese tourists safe in China

A group of Vietnamese tourists who became trapped by landslide in China reached safety in Xian, the capital of Shanxi province, on July 14, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The agency said the group of 38 Vietnamese were among 100 tourists stuck in the northwestern province of Gansu on July 12 when they were on the way to a natural reserve in nearby Sichuan province.

The tourists were later freely following urgent road repair work.

Storms and rains hit China’s northwest and southwest areas since July 8 triggering flooding and mudslides, claiming dozens of lives while over 100 have gone missing.

Canadian training for seaplane pilots

The first group of Vietnamese seaplane pilots have completed an extensive training course in Canada. The training is part of a co-operative programme between Viet Nam’s naval forces and its Canadian partners, Viking Air and Sky Pacific. Viet Nam has purchased six seaplanes from Viking Air and sent its pilots and technicians to Canada to learn how to fly the new aircraft.

Addressing the graduation ceremony in Sidney, British Columbia last week, both Canadian and Vietnamese sides praised their cooperation in this joint endeavour, which they said conveyed a strengthening of their multifaceted relations at a time when the two nations are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations.

They also expressed their belief that the friendship and cooperation between the two nations would further develop in the future.

Pregnant woman killed in tragic crash

A woman, eight months pregnant, was killed after a truck crashed into her motorbike yesterday, July 14, on National Highway 20 in Thong Nhat District, southern Dong Nai Province.

Both vehicles were travelling in the opposite direction as the pregnant woman and her husband, who was driving, were on their way to visit relatives in another district. Her husband suffered only minor injuries.

The truck driver ran from the scene after the accident so the cause remains unknown. The case is still under investigation.

Local, foreign students cycle for humanitarian work

More than 200 university and college students from Ho Chi Minh City are making a bicycle trip to the Mekong River Delta to undertake humanitarian work in underprivileged areas.

The 1,100-km trip, which started on July 12, is being joined by five students from Japan, China, Singapore, Estonia, and Portugal.

The students will travel through 10 cities and provinces of Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, Hau Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre and Tien Giang.

During the 37-day journey, they will make several stops to hand out life jackets and 10 scholarships worth VND1 million (US$48) each to local children as well as medicines to local residents.

They are scheduled to help local communities to rebuild dykes, unclog canals, upgrade roads, and plant mangrove forests.

The trip was co-organised by the Association for the Support of Vietnamese Handicapped and Orphans, First News Company and the Green Future Organisation.

PM outlines aid distribution

Agro-forestry, fisheries, rural development, healthcare and education are among the areas prioritised for assistance from NGOs during the 2013-17 period.

Under the national programme on mobilising assistance from NGOs issued by the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday, priority will also be given to vocational training, climate change, social and environmental issues and consequences of the war and natural disasters.

The aid will prioritise poor, mountainous and ethnic areas.

In rural areas, the programme encourages projects that contribute to poverty reduction in poor districts, socio-economic development for ethnic minority people, vocational training, job generation and micro-finance programmes.

It also encourages the development of agro-forestry programmes and small-scale production infrastructure such as pumping stations, roads and irrigation works.

In urban areas, the programme priorities vocational training and job generation, the development of small and medium sized businesses, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and prostitution.

The programme is aimed at mobilising aid from NGOs and using it efficiently to contribute to poverty reduction and socio-economic development in Viet Nam.

Assistance from NGOs needs to be used in line with the country’s socio-economic development plan and poverty reduction strategy.

Crop rotation key to southern agricultural success

The southern region should switch from low-yield rice to higher-value cash crops, participants said at a meeting held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Dong Thap Province on Thursday.

The country’s rice farmers are facing declining sales and prices, and the switch would help diversify crop cultivation and increase farmers’ incomes.

Speaking at the meeting, Le Quoc Doanh, head of the ministry’s Plant Cultivation Department, said the region has favourable conditions for planting corn and soybeans.

Imports of corn, soybeans and sesame crops could be significantly reduced if the yield of these plants was high.

To make animal feed, Viet Nam imports about 1.5 million tonnes of corn, 600,000 tonnes of soybeans and other agricultural produce worth about US$3 billion annually.

Participants said that profits from planting other cash crops were higher than that of rice.

In Dong Thap Province, for instance, farmers earn profits of VND25.3 million per hectare from planting sesame, VND16.6 million per hectare from planting corn and VND2.5 million per hectare from planting rice.

In recent years, Dong Thap, along with other southern provinces, planted one cash crop and two rice crops on the same field each year. The rotating cash crops include corn, soybean or sesame.

The model of rotating cash crops and rice crops on the same field yields higher profits than the model of cultivating three rice crops a year, according to the province’s report.

Crop rotation will also help replenish the soil and reduce disease outbreaks compared to rice on the same field.

However, many attendees at the meeting expressed their concerns about guaranteed outlets for rotated crops.

A representative from Bac Lieu Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development warned that little research had been conducted on the level of demand for varieties and prices of cash crops.

If outlets for cash crops cannot be guaranteed, farmers will face even more difficulties than now, according to a representative from Binh Phuoc Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mai Thanh Phung, deputy director of the National Agriculture Extension Centre, said the switch to cash crops should be done on a large scale.

This would help increase sales and promote the sustainable development of rotated crops, he added.

He said that planting must be tailored to each province’s advantages, including soil type and other factors.

“Rotation priority must be given to short-term crops that have high competitiveness and to those that can replace imported produce like corn, soybeans and peanuts,” he said.

Huynh Minh Doan, deputy head of the Southwestern Regional Steering Committee, said that crop rotation should be based on market demand and that farmers, enterprises, scientists and the Government should work together to develop plans.

Addressing the meeting, Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, urged the southern provinces to designate the areas suitable for these crops and set out new plans.

Advanced farming techniques should also be used, he said, adding that cooperation between farmers and enterprises was important to guarantee sales outlets for farmers.

With sustainable sales, farmers will be able to continue to plant these crops year after year.

Under the ministry’s plan, corn and soybeans are two main crops to be used for rotation on rice fields.

Vietnam Glory award winners honoured

Twenty-six collectives and individuals were acknowledged in Hanoi on July 13 for their excellent performances in various aspects of life.

At the ceremony, State Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan emphasised that the honoured collectives and individuals have overcome countless difficulties in their production and lives to achieve socio-economic gains, greatly contributing to national construction and defence.  

She said that they have demonstrated strong enthusiasm, a high sense of career responsibility, and upheld the spirit of solidarity in patriotic movements in various fields, to bring success to the country over the years.

Dang Ngoc Tung, president of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, said that over the past nine years, the Vietnam Glory programme has honoured more than 100 exemplary individuals and collectives who excel in all aspects of life, from national defence and security to production.

This programme has attracted the attention of people nationwide and made a fine impression on society, he said.

During the event, the audience held exchanges with exemplary role models such as colonel and labour hero, Nguyen Dang Giap, general director of Corporation 36 under the Ministry of Defence, who has helped his company overcome difficulties and contribute to society; deputy director general of the Radio Frequency Management

Administration, Le Van Tuan, whose company succeeded in launching the satellites VINASAT-1, VINASAT-2 and VNRED SAT-1 into orbit; Le Van Duoc, a 9th grade student from the central province of Nghe An, who bravely rescued five children from drowning; and especially 70-year-old labour hero Huynh Van Cang, a war invalid from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, who has raised hundreds of billions of VND from organisations and individuals across the country to support poor patients, disabled people and disadvantaged children.

This is the tenth time the “Vietnam Glory” programme has been organised by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, the Central Council for Emulation and Reward, Lao Dong (labour) Newspaper and Vietnam Television.

VNN/VOV/VNS/VNA

By vivian