After three years implementing a national programme on new rural development, 11 communes in five Central Highland provinces have satisfied all the 19 of the programme’s criteria thanks to their efforts in mobilising support from the people, reported radio The Voice of Vietnam.

Among the 19 criteria for new rural development, developing a rural traffic system is one of the hardest to achieve because it is expensive. But Ea O commune in Dak Lak province’s Ea Kar district has found a way.

Over the past three years, the commune has managed to build two bridges and 90 km of paved roads connecting local hamlets and communes, worth around 3.5 million USD. The key was getting 500 households in the commune to voluntarily contribute their land use right, money and labour to build new roads.

Nguyen Minh Chuyen, Chairman of Ea O commune People’s Committee, said that with locals' support, the commune may complete the national rural development programme by 2015.

"In order to encourage local people to support the programme, it’s important to acknowledge their contributions in appropriate ways. For example, we went to every household to ask for a contribution, stated the contributions clearly in a report, and after the work was completed, we honoured them for their donations in public," he said.

Similarly, the communes of Quang Dien, Ea Tul and Ea Nuol have succeeded in mobilising contributions to their new rural development. Hundreds of households in these communes voluntarily moved their houses, donated their land, money and contributed their labour to building welfare facilities and making roads.

Nguyen Loc, a resident of Krong Ana district’s Quang Dien commune, donated 600 square meters of his fields to make roads and encouraged his neighbours to follow suit.

"My decision was supported by everyone in my family because we understood that we ourselves will ultimately benefit from this program. Once the roads are completed, it will be easier for us to travel and this will also increase local land prices," Loc said.

The national rural development programme has also seen improvements in communes with an ethnic minority.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Minh Manh is the political commissar of Brigade 198, which has provided assistance to three communes in Dak Lak province in implementing the national rural development programme.

Manh attributed the programme’s success in ethnic minority areas to efforts by the local authorities to make residents aware of the programme and provide them with clear instructions on the State’s rural development guidelines and policies. Another important factor in the programme’s success, he added, is that officers and soldiers get close to the people and stand ready to support them at any time.

"We take part in any works by the local people, from supporting their daily chores to building roads, dredging irrigation canals, and so on… And this has created close bonds between the soldiers and the local people, making it easier for us to complete the new rural development programme, and carry out unanticipated tasks," he said.-VNA