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Cave Dwellers in Southwest China Move Out

DATELINE: GUIYANG, October 31, 2000

By the end of this year, more than 2,200 ethnic families living in water-eroded caves in Guizhou Province will move into houses built by the local government.

Luo Yaomei, a 60-year old woman from the Miao ethnic group, is preparing for the move. "Living in the new house, I can see sky whenever raise my head," she said excitedly.

"But in cave, we have to ignite coal-oil for light day and night," the elder recalled.

Most ethnic people in the province are living in mountainous area in nine counties in karst landforms and numerous caves. Due to poor transportation and the economic situation, there are still 2,200 ethnic families living in the caves.

To help the families move into proper housing, the local government has invested 30 million yuan in building over 2,000 houses, each with an area of 60 square meters.

Living in the new houses, the ethnic families will have a chance to enjoy sufficient sunlight as well as modern infrastructure equipment, pipe water, electricity and glass windows.