1. Home
  2. international
  3. news
  4. The Chinese government resettled villagers who lived up a 2,624-foot cliff into town apartments

The Chinese government resettled villagers who lived up a 2,624-foot cliff into town apartments

Michelle Mark   

The Chinese government resettled villagers who lived up a 2,624-foot cliff into town apartments
  • The Chinese government resettled 84 households from the remote, clifftop village of Atule'er, where residents had to trek more than 2,600 feet each way.
  • Harrowing photos published in 2016 showed the journey schoolchildren had to make each week to get to class, climbing down handmade ladders and scaling narrow paths.
  • The state-run broadcaster CGTN reported that the villagers have since been given apartments in Zhaojue County, where they can more easily access schools, medical care, and other basic services.
  • Not every villager opted to leave — 30 households will reportedly stay, in part because the village has become a tourist site and people have lived there for 200 years.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Chinese government has resettled 84 households who once lived in a remote village at the top of a 2,624-foot cliff.

The village made international headlines in 2016, after harrowing photos showed young children climbing down the cliff to go to school, descending rickety ladders made of vines and scaling narrow paths without any guardrails or safety devices.

The villagers have since been moved into apartment buildings near the town center of Zhaojue County in the province of Sichuan, according to the state-run broadcaster CGTN.

The broadcaster quoted one villager who said Atule'er residents drew lots for their new homes — he said he was allowed a 1,076-square-foot dwelling because there are five people in his family, and that he was looking forward to accessing services in the new area that were previously unavailable to him.

"After moving to the county, life will be very convenient for my family, and my children will go to school easily and hospital services will become convenient too," Mose Laluo told CGTN.

Video footage of the new housing development showed sets of newly constructed, modern-looking apartment buildings.

Children had to make the dangerous trek down the cliff every week to go to school

The resettlement of the Atule'er villagers is reportedly part of a broader campaign to house impoverished families in remote villages. The Zhaojue County site is expected to soon house more than 18,000 residents from 4,057 households, according to CGTN.

Despite the efforts, not all Atule'er villagers were willing to leave their homes. CNN reported that 30 households intended to stay in their clifftop homes, partly due to a newfound tourist economy. Roughly 100,000 people visited Atule'er in 2019, creating some $140,000 in revenue for the village.

An NPR journalist who made the trek up the cliff in 2016 reported that the villagers there fed themselves by raising livestock and planting crops such as corn and potatoes, but were unable to get most of their produce down the cliff so were unable to earn much money by selling it.

NPR reported that it took roughly two to four hours each way to scale the cliff. It's a trip that schoolchildren had to make each week to attend classes, staying in dorms until the weekends.

Since the village captured so much attention in recent years, local officials felt pressure to make life less dangerous for the residents, especially since people have died by falling down the cliff, according to NPR.

The village is estimated to be 200 years old, and villagers have said their ancestors chose the isolated location in an effort to avoid wars or tribal conflicts, according to the state-owned newspaper China Daily.

Read the original article on Insider


Popular Right Now