China to renovate almost all toilets in rural areas

BY SILVI WRITER

China will press ahead with a “toilet revolution” in rural areas to provide standard and regulated facilities and improve rural residents’ living quality.

A total of 375,000 toilets will be renovated in 2019 in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, according to the local authority, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Polluted water in the countryside will be properly treated, and agricultural waste will be utilized effectively, according to the local government. The authorities will also strengthen protection for rural culture and traditions.

In eastern China’s coastal province of Shandong, about 10 million toilets with substandard hygiene had been renovated or rebuilt as of the end of last year, local government has said, according to China Daily.

Sanitation in rural areas of Shandong province has been greatly improved through the so-called toilet revolution, the provincial government said.

The incidence of infectious diseases fell by 26.9 percent in 2017 from 2015 levels.

Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region will rebuild toilets for 150,000 rural households in 2019.

Meanwhile, the region will build a batch of public toilets in the farm markets of townships, major scenic spots and along main roads for convenience of rural residents and tourists.

So far, about 42 percent of the region’s population live in rural areas, and they are facing problems concerning the sanitary condition of toilets.

“Toilet Revolution”

China launched the “toilet revolution” in 2015 to increase the number and sanitation of toilets at tourist sites. The campaign expanded to improve public toilets in cities and build better private toilets in rural areas.

More than 200 million farmer families live in more than 550,000 villages in China, and that makes building or renovating their toilets a huge task, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu said in October.

He said nearly half of the country’s farmer families have already renovated or rebuilt their toilets.

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A toilet in touristic city of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and seven other Central government departments released a guideline in late Jan to promote a special action plan for the campaign in rural areas.

By 2020, all toilets for rural families in eastern China and suburban areas in the central part of the country should be renovated or rebuilt, with human waste properly disposed of, the guideline said. In other parts of central China and in the west of the country, around 85 percent of families should be using sanitary toilets by then.

The guideline urged stronger fiscal support for the campaign and said farmers should rebuild or renovate their toilets of their own free will. It encourages all families in each village to accomplish such renovation together.

The toilet revolution campaign was originally proposed by UNICEF to improve children’s welfare worldwide.

For decades, many people in China, especially in far-flung areas, used unsanitary open-air toilets that were a breeding ground for diseases such as malaria.

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