It is about two hours by boat from Cai Rong Port in Van Don district to Tran Island. In the spring morning sunlight, the island is the deep blue of trees and the sea.
A row of 17 solid houses worth nearly US$680,000 is a gift the Dong Bac Corporation has presented to the people of Tran Island.
Tran Thi Lan, an islander, says almost all the households there are young families from multiple provinces looking to make their fortune from the island and wanting to share responsibility for Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty.
Lan said, “When we settled on the island, we resolved to do our utmost to enrich ourselves and the island. Most of us are involved in aquaculture and we are trying to buy vessels to do offshore fishing with the hope of making a nest egg for our children."
"We are self-confident and strongly believe that we can make the island more prosperous and actively participate in safeguarding the national sea and islands,” she added.
In addition to improving islanders’ living standards, Quang Ninh province has built infrastructure, specified production industries, and created specific policies to help local residents stabilize their lives.
|Authorities of Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee and leaders of Dong Bac Corporation at a ceremony to hand over the keys and gifts to those who have settled down in Tran Island.
Fishermen can obtain subsidized loans to repair fishing boats, buy fishing equipment, and pay for logistic services. Islanders are being provided with medical insurance cards.
Today on Tran Island there is the laughter and chatter of children who go to school together every morning. There are two classes for 10 pre-school children and 5 primary school students.
Teacher Hoang Thi Huyen says she has chosen Tran Island as a place to settle down because she wants to bring education and literacy to the children of this remote, disadvantaged island.
She shared, "She feels proud to work on Tran Island. I want to do something to make the place more prosperous, beautiful, and civilized. Though there remain many difficulties, the current infrastructure is quite OK for both teacher and students.”
Like other islands far from the mainland, Tran Island faces severe weather conditions and a scarcity of fresh water. But with the help of the soldiers stationed on the island, three water reservoirs have been built, to provide fresh water to every household.
Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of Co To district’s People’s Committee, says more and more fishermen have moved to Tran Island.
According to Thanh, a fishing port where up to 300 boats can anchor and a center for fishing logistic services will be built, and tourism links between Co To and Tran Island will be promoted.
“We’ll mobilize financial resources from various sectors for the development of Tran Island. We need to create a technical infrastructure. We’ll try to turn the island into a magnet for fishing boats of the province first and then other localities, to develop Tran Island’s economy and defend Vietnam’s sea and islands,” Thanh says.