Hunan province is one of the largest provinces of china. It is a province endowed with many mineral resources. This region is characterized by intense Industrial activities. The Hunan province is plagued with several socioeconomic problems. These problems include pollution, unemployment, power shortages, health issues and drug abuse among others. The government of Hunan has put forward strategies and measures to counter these socioeconomic problems. The government has established ways of helping peasant workers to acquire employment. Laws and regulations are also put in place to deal with pollution and drug abuse. Hunan government has expanded the power production capacity increasing its power output by significant amounts. The government’s efforts to solve socioeconomic problems may not be problem may not be adequate, however, more is needed to address these problems what has been done cannot be ignored.
Hunan province lies within central China. This province is usually referred as "Xiang”. It lies at 108°47' to 114°45' to the east and 24°39' to 30°28’to the north. Hunan province is a relatively large province covering an average area of about 211,800 sq km. it covers a distance of 774 km from north to south and 667 km from west to east.
Hunan experiences four distinct climatic seasons. It is usually within humid continental and subtropical monsoon climate zone. This region receives adequate sunshine, rainfall, and relatively longer free frost period conducive for human survival and growth of crops. The Hunan province has a vast drainage network. Rivers such as Xingjian, Lishui, Yuanshui, and Zijiang flow northwest to the Dongting Lake through the Hunan province. This makes it to be rich in water resources. (Hunan, ( n.d).
Hunan province is endowed with a large mineral base. It produces non metallic and nor ferrous metals with a variety of minerals. Some of the minerals found within this region include minerals such as stibium, tungsten and manganese. Hunan has a rich biodiversity.
This province has a high population density of about 311 per square kilometer. This is almost double the national population density, with the total population amounting to 68.4520 million in 2008. The region is occupied by many ethnic groups with the Han population amounting to 89.9% of the total population. Other ethnic groups include the Yao, Miao, dong, and Tujia. (Liu) 2006. Hunan Statistical Yearbook (2001).
The living standards in the Hunan province can be improved through solving the socioeconomic problems in this area. Major problems in this area include environmental pollution, unemployment, health problems, and drug abuse and power shortages among others. A lot should be done to address these problems. The government of Hunan has put forward some measures to address these problems, though, more effective strategies to address the problems are essential. . The government has established ways of helping peasant workers to acquire employment. Laws and regulations are also put in place to deal with pollution and drug abuse. Hunan government has expanded the power production capacity increasing its power output by significant amounts. An insightful evaluation of these policies reveals omissions of considerations.in most cases population density, long term benefits and economic constrains of the people are not considered when formulating policies. The inadequacy in the process of policy formulation and strategy development needs to be reviewed. Consequently, this will result to better strategies and policies.
Most problems facing humanity have origin to the social and economic world. The problems that involve social and economic factors are referred as socioeconomic problems. Different regions of the world experience distinct socioeconomic problems. Hunan province in china has its unique socioeconomic problems. These problems are solved considering the major contributing social and economic factors. Among the most common socioeconomic problems in the Hunan province are discussed below:
Pollution has remained a major world threat. China is one of the industrialized countries experiencing a lot of pollution. Air, water and land pollution has put a challenge for the Hunan provincial administrators. Mineral waste from the mining sites and industrial waste are deposited in the Huayuan River in the Hunan province. Studies that have been carried on the concentration of some minerals like manganese, zinc and lead, indicates that their level concentration are higher above the world health organization guidelines. Heavy metal such as cadmium and indium wastes harm the local environment this endanger the safety of drinking water in this region. The air quality in the Hunan province has been found out to be of class II. Industries have been the major pollutant in this area. Sulphur dioxide from the industries is the major air pollutant in this region. This has resulted to a common phenomenon of acid rains in china. The quality of soils in this province has deteriorated over time with cadmium deposits as the major pollutant. Vegetable samples grown in the Hunan province have been found to contain excessive chemical amounts of copper, zinc, arsenic and cadmium. This shows high levels of soil pollution. Chemicals are distributed through air, direct deposits and through irrigation to the farm lands. (Qian et al., 2009).
In the year 2004 the registered unemployment rate in the Hunan province stood at 4.4%. (China statistics, 2005). It’s quite paradoxical, the Chinese economy grows even higher than 8% and yet the unemployment rates are high. State owned enterprises are privatized lying off a significant number of workers. This is prompted by the in efficiency and non profitability in these companies. These state owned enterprises are over staffed. For example the privatization of the tonghua iron and ciuhua coal mine are among the many state owned enterprises that have been privatized. (D0ngZ, 2001).
Helminthes are prevalent in the Hunan province. The Chinese people do raise buffalos for their high quality milk, meat and hides. Most of these animals are infected with helminthes and their products exert great danger to human health (e.g., schistosomiasis). A study carried in the Hunan province has indicated that a total of thirteen classes of helminthes were found in this region. It also indicated that all the buffalos tested were infected with more than one species of helminthes. (Liu et al., 2008).
Alcohol disorders are a major social problem within china. In Hunan the alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence rates were 1.8% /4.8% and 4.7%/8.6% for higher age (55-60) and lower age (35-44). (Hasni et al, 2007). Alcohol abuse and dependence is so common within the Chinese men in the Hunan province. The abuse and dependence on alcohol has implication to the socioeconomic status of the individuals. Individuals addicted to alcohol tend to neglect their social responsibilities. Injecting drugs has amounted to HIV/Aids increased infection. (Hasni et al.).
Influx of immigrants in the Hunan province
The national economy of china has benefited some regions more than others. Regions in the northern china have been lagging behind in development. Farmers in this region struggle to earn a living. The growing inequality regions of china have resulted to migration from the north to the south and the east. The Hunan province its economy has been growing significantly. For example in 2008 the Hunan united to implement systems and important economic decisions, such as the strategy of “standardization, fundamental materials, fundament systems, and skills”.
The Hunan province is faced with the challenge of accommodating the influx of the population within its economy. Given the high population density, a further increase in population would put pressure on the existing opportunities. Economist (2000).
Hunan province with rapidly growing economy has been experiencing high demand of property. The price of houses has increased significantly. The major concern is to avoid the collapse of this property boom resulting to negative equity.
Shortage of power
The growing economy has put a high demand on the existing power infrastructure. Power shortages has fallen all the twelve provinces. Houses and industries have been forced to run without power. The many industries within this region put pressure to the national grid. The main sources of power include hydroelectric power, gas, coal and nuclear power. China has three nuclear power plants, though not enough to supply power to meet its industrial and domestic demands. None of this nuclear power stations is located in Hunan province. Nuclear facilities and organization (n.d).
Initiative put by government solving socio-economic problems in Hunan.
The government of Hunan has increased the funding for comprehensive cleaning of rivers. The government has also put policies to shut down polluting enterprises. It had closed up to 564 enterprises by 2005. The Hunan departments of science and technology have the overall mandate of coordinating projects that aim at reducing pollution. (Li Xi, 2009).
The government of Hunan has established a power project to increase its power capacity. The government of Hunan started the expansion of Jinzhushan Power Plant in 2004. The initial production capacity was about 600MW which had decreased as a result of breakdown of the generators. The initiative aimed at reconstructing the broken facilities and expanding the production capacity. In 2006 the Hunan province started increasing the power plants. In 2006 it increased its production by 4.3MW. A total of 8.9MW from hydropower and 10.5mw from thermal production has been installed to the national grid. (Qu xin, 2004).
The government has established projects to help peasant farmers to find jobs (e.g., the spring breeze project). The project aimed at proving peasant workers with employment opportunities, services and information. Secondly, train workers in large-scale professions. Thirdly, ensuring positions held by peasant worked are stabilized. Lastly, to encourage self employment among the citizens, the government of Hunan formulates as well as adopting new strategies and policies. Workers rights are highly protected by a well established legal framework and efficient judicial system. The Hunan government has started a program to motivate citizens to begin business in their home towns. This is done by providing aids to those returning in their homes. Workers are also encouraged to take insurance unemployment premiums. Workers are compensated when they loose their jobs. (Dongz, 2001).
The government of China announced Great War to drug traffickers and drug abusers. Drug use s illegal in china. Laws and regulations have been enacted to deal with this vice in china. The government is also concerned with the close relationship between drug use and HIV/Aids infections. There is adequate legislation to deal with drug abuse and HIV/Aids infections. Drug users are registered with the Chinese public security bureau and majority of who are sent to detention (Sullivan, 2007). Drug users are given mandatory treatment. The government ensures that the laws governing drug use are fully implemented and followed.
An evaluation of government’s efforts and suggestions on how to handle the problems
The government of Hunan province establishes new projects and formulates new policies to deal with these problems. In one case, to begin with then government of Hunan has not put adequate projects to deal with the power shortages within this area. Many projects have been established to increase the power in the national grid and especially in this area, but, there have been frequent cases of power shortage.
Industries going for days without power supply. The government has not considered the number of industries and the population density in this area. In this case the government has failed to handle this problem. This problem can be handled well if nuclear power plants can be established in this region. This will put a large increase in the national power grid.
The establishment of bureau of public security was a nice idea. Its achievement can be seen by evaluating its outcomes. It has successfully dealt with drug users by detaining majority of them and ensuring others are given compulsory treatment. However, this step is not enough, drug lords have gone unpunished. A lot needs to be done to reduce drug preference among Chinese men. The government should provide information centers to educate the youth on the harmful effects of drug abuse. More social problems results when majority of the working youth are sent into detention. Public campaigns should be frequently undertaken to inform the youth. The government should also put in place laws that safeguard those who report cases of drug trafficking. The government more responsible in handling drug abuse, rather just detaining those found abusing drugs.
The government of Hunan has not put enough measures to deal with pollution in that region. Acid rains are very common in china. This indicates extend in which the air is polluted. The government only closes few companies that are seen to violate the set rules and regulation regarding environmental pollution. This is quite ineffective as industrial wastes find their way in the rivers and in the atmosphere. The government should ensure all wastes released to the rivers and to the air has been treated. Sewage should be treated to remove harmful metallic and chemical compounds. Industrial gases should be filtered to absorb sulphur dioxide which is a major air pollutant. The government does not put into considerations that the rate of pollution in this area is very high and this requires greater and efficient ways of solving pollution problems. The huge metal deposits in the rivers pose great concern for human health and aquatic life. This calls for more governmental efforts to address the problem. A body to oversea environmental preservation should be established. This should be mandated to investigate all activities in the industrial sectors and carry out the necessary measures. This can include closing the industry, forcing the industry to clean parts of environment polluted and imposing fines and penalties.
Taking in to consideration the high population within this region, the government of Hunan has not dealt effectively with the issue of unemployment. The Chinese economy, despite of growing the unemployment rates are quite alarming. Hunan is a highly populated region and the government should find alternative varied ways of addressing unemployment in this region. Firstly, it should consider exporting of labor to other countries. It can lies with other governments like in Europe and the United States to secure employment for its citizens.
Secondly, it can consider having programs for stimulus economic growth. This will create direct employment for her citizens. And lastly, it embarks on producing high quality products that will be very competitive in the markets. This results to expansion of Chinese businesses overseas and an increased labor demand within the country.
The Hunan government has totally failed to address the issue of property boom. The cost of houses is very high and keeps on increasing. The governments ought to regulate the prices of houses in this region. The free market economy if led can result to a negative equity, in the event the economy collapses. To avoid this situation the government of Hunan should set limits on the cost of some property.
Generally the government has put some policies to deal with the socioeconomic problems. However, lot can be done to address the socioeconomic problems.
Employed population was 38.018 million by the end of 2005, increase by 575,600 from end of 2004. 342,200 workers were reemployed in 2005. The unemployment rate 4.3% (registered).
The birth rate 11.9% in 2005, mortality rate 6.75‰. Natural growth rate 5.15‰ of population. End of 2005, total population was 67.321 million, growth by 344,000 since 2004.
In any society there exist problems resulting from social and economic factors. The Hunan province in china has several socioeconomic problems. Some of the problems are more severe than others. Problems in this province include unemployment, pollution, power shortages, healthy problems, drug abuse and problems of dealing with migrants into the region.
The government of Hunan province has put measures to handle these socioeconomic problems. These measures include expansion of its power in the national grid and particularly in Hunan province, promotion of self employment, severe laws dealing with drug users and cleaning of rivers among others. The government’s efforts to deal with these problems are not very adequate as they have failed to handle the problems fully. This calls for more efforts to deal with the socioeconomic problems.
China statistic (2005). The registered urban unemployment persons and unemployment rate by
Region. Retrieved from http://www.allcountries.org/china_statistics. Accessed (February, 2011).
D0ng Z. (2001).structural unemployment theory and its explanations to the current state of
china: journal of chongging institute of technology management
Hasin D.S, Stinson F.S, Ogburn E., Grant BF.(2007). Prevalence, correlates, disability,
and of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence in the United States. Archive of
Hunan (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.unescap.org accessed (February 2011)
Liu Y., et al. (2008). Prevalence of helminthes in water buffaloes in Hunan province, china
Li Xi p. (2009). Impact of industrial concentration on industrial wage level in
china.; Reformation & Strategy
Map of Hunan province in china; retrieved from www.maps-of-china.net/p_hunan_map.html
Sullivan SG, (2007). Rapid scale up of harm reduction in China. Int J Drug Policy. 18:118–128.
Qian Y.D., et al. (2009).heavy pollution suppresses light rain in china: observations and
Qu xin (2004). China: hungry for power. Retrieved from http://www.energybulletin.net, accessed (25, February 2011).