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Relief Work
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Relief Work
UPDATED: June 19, 2008  
Rebuilding Takes Center Stage

Her husband lay sleeping in their tent.

Asked about food supplies, Yang said it was no longer a problem with the roads reopened.

"We get stable food supplies from lorries coming from Chengdu. My husband carries barrels of water from a well down a hill as and when we need them," she said.

"There is sufficient milk powder for my son."

The real problem, Yang said, was the uncertain future facing her family.

"We have no idea what it is going to be like," she said, pointing to the area where her family's farmland lay buried under a landslide.

The road ahead for 53-year-old Wang Xueming is much clearer.

The migrant worker, who arrived in Yingxiu more than a year before the quake, is finished with the area.

Wang's house in Wenjiang county, within the western border of greater Chengdu, survived the quake without any serious injury.

Now putting up in the same shelter area as Yang, he cooks fresh meals every day for his co-workers and fellow quake victims.

"I won't work here anymore even after everything has passed," he said.

"Who knows? I may go to Shenzhen (in Guangdong province), or Shanghai, to find another job as long as the pay is guaranteed," he said.

"I can work anywhere, I am still strong."

Unlike Wang, many Yingxiu residents have decided to rebuild their lives in the area.

Dozens of grocery stores alone have reopened in tents along the Minjiang River.

Most hawk daily necessities including soap, toothpaste, instant noodles and bread.

A few shops display T-shirts with prints like "Yingxiu, Fight On!" that have become popular.

Wen Yan, who runs one such tent shop, smiled happily and waved the shirts proudly to passers-by.

Perhaps the most eye-catching temporary shop was a gray grocery store that lay on the west bank of the river.

"I have three grocery stores in Yingxiu," 43-year-old shopkeeper Zhou Changxue told China Daily.

"This is the only one in the township in a Russian tent."

The Wenjiang native opened his tent shop at the beginning of June.

Zhou, who broke his right leg in the quake, did not leave Yingxiu after the disaster hit because he believed that people here would go hungry in its aftermath.

"I have been in this business for more than 20 years," he said.

While a stable power supply is still a problem in the area, Zhou is considered one of the luckier ones because the authorities provided him with a generator for his shop, which is much larger than others, to open till late.

"My prices have remained the same as those prior to the quake," he said.

"Cigarettes and washing supplies such as soap and shampoo sell best," Zhou said.

The soldiers who are involved in the recovery work in the town are some of his biggest customers.

"They come frequently to stock up on necessities," he said.

(China Daily June 18, 2008)


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