Tuyen Quang, where the people die because of gold
  • | Vietnamnet | September 25, 2012 05:38 PM

The residents in Nhat Tan hamlet of Yen Lap commune in Chiem Hoa district have sworn that they will never settle on the land near the gold placer areas, because they well understand the tragedies gold digger and their families have to suffer.


 The residents in Chiem Hoa district avoid living near gold placer areas

Running away from gold

Houses got devastated, family members got separated – this is the current problem of many local households. Realizing the tragedy of the gold rush, they have been trying to run away from gold, but the grief and suffering still have been clinging to the victims of the spontaneous gold rush movement.

In 1980s, the Coc Tay Hamlet of Yen Lap commune in Chiem Hoa district was the destination point of many people who dreamed of finding gold to become rich. People from every corner in the country flocked there to look for gold.

Just after some years, the cross-valleys got disappeared, while the soil for growing maize was turned over by the gold diggers. At that time, many local residents could also earn some money by looking for gold ore.

However, later, no more gold could not be found, while the soil for cultivation disappeared. As a result, Coc Tay’s residents had to go to the forest to seek forestry products to sell for food.

Thoroughly understanding the tragedy of the people, in 1999, the provincial authorities supported 30 households to leave the mountains to settle in the Nhat Tan hamlet of Yen Lap commune.

With the financial support by the local authorities, the people began cultivating on the land allocated to them and had a good life. Children and adults have houses, clothes, food every day, while young people can go to school.

The people used the water from the Khuoi Luong stream near their settlement area, which was always clean. The stream was a valuable asset for the local people, who believed that it was the gift of the nature and swore that they would never spoil the stream again just to look for gold.

In 2007, some people from other localities flocked there to look for gold placers. However, they could not implement their plan, because they met the strong protest from local residents. As such, the stream remained clean, while the life was still peaceful.

The gold obsession

The life of the local people was very peaceful and happy, when an investor brought machines and workers to Coc Chu area in October 2011 to look for gold. After devastating the area, the gold diggers moved to another area, 1.5 hectares, which is the soil for growing maize and keeping animals.

The local residents, once again, voiced their protest against the spontaneous gold digging. However, no one has helped them. Some people, who tried to cast out the gold diggers, have been interrogated by the commune’s authorities. After they saw some people in the police uniform appearing in the gold digging areas, they did not dare to show their protest any more.

Phung Xuan Nhat from Nhat Tan hamlet said most of the local residents earn their living by growing maize. However, the soil for cultivation has become poor with low fertility because of the gold digging activities. As a result, no kind of plants can be grown there any more.

“We still do not know how we can earn our living. I am afraid that the poverty and hunger would return,” he said.

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