Under the new Revolutionary Government's policy in South Vietnam, tens of thousands of people are being encouraged to move from the over-crowded cities to start new lives in the country areas.
Under the new Revolutionary Government's policy in South Vietnam, tens of thousands of people are being encouraged to move from the over-crowded cities to start new lives in the country areas. One of the most attractive areas to families who are being helped to move is the Province of Long Chau Ha in the Mekong Delta.
The Province is one of the most prosperous areas of the Delta, lying as it does along the Gulf of Thailand. It provides a plentiful harvest of rice and fish, and one of the biggest exports is that of menthol wood which is found growing in large quantities in the Province.
By tradition other crops have been successfully grown in the area, such as black pepper and pineapple. The fishermen who work along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand are also the country's most important suppliers of shrimps.
With such a variety of crops to harvest, and the possibility of a large number of trades to follow, Long Chau Ha is one of the most promising areas for the relocation programme. Workers are already building a new road leading to the main centres of resettlement in the Province.
It was reported from Saigon on Friday (16 January) that more than 350,000 people have left Saigon for the countryside since the Viet Cong victory in South Vietnam last April. A total of 121,822 went to newly created "economic zones" and 233,790 returned to their native villages to take up their old trades again.
The "economic zones" were set up, mainly to provide more food. People arriving there are given plots of land, tools and daily food allowances for the first six months. The Revolutionary Government in Saigon has placed great importance on encouraging people to move back to the countryside. During the last census in Saigon in 1972, the city's population was estimated at just over 1,800,000. That figure increased enormously in the final few months of the war.
Commercial activity in Saigon continues to be depressed, and the only market that appears to be thriving is the Cau Ong Lanh market in the city centre which specialises in farming equipment.
The most significant changes in Saigon are not as evident as the quiet empty roads, deserted hotels and closed nightclubs. They are taking place at hundreds of meetings in factories and offices, where people are being told about what is officially known as the crimes committed by the United States and the previous government. The people who attend such meetings are being asked to take the administrations of their factories and offices into their own hands.
SYNOPSIS: One of the most beautiful areas in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam, is the newly-named Province of Long Chau Ha. The provincial capital of Hatien reflects how prosperous the areas economy has become following the end of the Vietnam war. Situated as it is along the Gulf of Thailand, fishing s an important industry.
Long Chau Ha Province is one of the regions which has been ear-marked by the new Revolutionary Government in Saigon to accepted people for relocation from the cities.
Under the scheme, the Communist authorities are persuading people in the cities - particularly Saigon - to return to the countryside or their birthplaces. Since the end of the war, three hundred thousand people have left Saigon.
Already the Government is building a new road that will supply the main relocation centres in the Province. It has many attractions for people wanting to move back to the country. There are plentiful supplies of rice, fish and menthol wood, which is exported by barges along the canals.
Consequently, people who have decided to take advantage of the new relocation scheme, are flocking to Hatien to benefit from the plentiful crops available, and the wide variety of trades to be followed. They all see the opportunity of building a new life for themselves.
They will also be helping in the reconstruction of their country, and so the Government helps them to make a start. When the people arrive in the newly created "economic zones" which are intended to increase Vietnam's food production, they are supplied with a plot of land, tools and a daily food allowance for the first six months.
The convoy of barges carrying menthol logs for export may well symbolise the prosperous days ahead for the repatriates to the countryside.