Three Gorges Probe

China’s rubbish pickers scrap the farm for the city

(March 21, 2001 ) A family of farmers from the Three Gorges region ekes out a living in the garbage business in Shanghai.

(Excerpt)

Shanghai: … Liu and her relatives come from the Three Gorges region, where farmers moving away from the rising waters of the dammed Yangtze river have increased pressure on their upland neighbours in steep and rainy Sichuan. “We used to have a farm. But you can’t make anything off the land, you can only survive. We have to provide for the kids and the older generation too, so our generation has to think of a way to make it work,” she said. Liu and her husband found jobs at a garbage company when they first moved to Shanghai three years ago. After about a year, they set up as scrap rubber subcontractors. Despite the weather and the pressure to process enough shoes to clear expenses, Liu said there were some benefits to living far from farm or factory. “We have more freedom this way. No one’s bossing us around.”

Reuters, March 21, 2001

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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