A massive reconstruction programme is well underway in Vietnam to restore a country devastated by 30 years of war.
GV Saigon City showing traffic, market stalls, and crowds. (5 shots)
SV INT. Women working in weaving factory. (3 shots)
LV INT. Idle weaving machines and man working on wrench. (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Cemetery to slum area of Saigon. (2 shots)
SV Boys digging trench and ZOOM OUT FROM slum area surrounded by water. (2 shots)
GV Slum houses. (2 shots)
GV People walking along road at Hong Nu village north of Saigon. (2 shots)
GV PAN OVER Huts showing plots of land allocated by government to each family.
SV Nearby minefield with mine warning signs. (2 shots)
CU Boy digging on family plot with mother sifting rice. (2 shots)
SV INT. Rice being cooked on stove and family talking. (2 shots)
GV Bulldozer toppling tree. (2 shots)
GV Villagers clearing site for building.
GV PAN OVER Swamped area TO buildings under construction for community complex including hospital and maternity facilities. (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Buffalo to villagers using new machinery in ricefield. (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Rice growing PAN ACROSS ROAD TO bomb craters.
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Background: A massive reconstruction programme is well underway in Vietnam to restore a country devastated by 30 years of war. Some of the hardest hit areas border Saigon in the south.
SYNOPSIS: The United Nations is helping with the reconstruction and says Saigon presents one of the major problems. In 1954 the city had half-a-million residents. The population is now over 3,000,000. Today, U.N. officials say Saigon is still partly living in the past. The markets still have imported goods, but such products are no longer being imported, and the consumer society - as residents once knew it - is a facade now falling from the realities of life.
There are over 3,000,000 unemployed throughout former South Vietnam. This factory once employed 200 people. Today there isn't enough foreign currency to import cloth so machinery lies idle.
The cemeteries of Saigon house not only the dead, but the living also. During the war over 3,000,000 people fled from the countryside to seek refuge in Saigon. U.N. officials say the city slums today are a silent witness to a war which cost the population in the countryside dearly. Shanty towns grew up where no-one else would live. Sanitary conditions are appalling. Official say that for those living here there is no work, no schools and no hope. But slowly the slums are being demolished and the people resettled.
The government says the future of the slum dwellers is where they came from originally -- the countryside. Hong Nu village north of Saigon is typical of the reconstruction programme. Families have each been allocated a plot of land for farming to achieve self-sufficiency in food as soon as possible.
The signs of war remain. The authorities estimate that everyday someone is blown up by a mine or shell. But the grim reminders of conflict haven't deterred the people from returning to Hong Nu, and they're being helped with food and other aid.
But it will be at least a year before they harvest the first rice crop.
Bulldozers are clearing the land for a community complex. The U.N. says mechanisation has a vital role to play in reconstruction. It means less reliance on foreign assistance and will help achieve economic independence at a much faster rate. In Hong Nu the U.N. are also helping build houses, a hospital and a maternity home to serve the area. The hospital will cater for about 100 patients, providing medical aid at the grass-root level.
Mechanisation hasn't yet replaced the buffalo which remains one of the traditional sources of traction in the country-side. However the U.N. has provided fleets of till dozers -- specially designed mechanised ploughs to prepare the land. The machines have brought a new dimension to the life of the farmers in the rice fields.
The government says the future of Vietnam lies in the countryside. Whatever the war might have done to it's population pattern, it's still a land of farmers. And officials say their first priority is to give the people a decent, simple life.