‘Toi­let rev­o­lu­tion’ changes face of county

Shanghai Daily - - NATION - (Xin­hua)

LANTIAN County in north­west China’s Shaanxi Prov­ince re­cently launched a project to help re­build and up­grade house­hold toi­lets in ru­ral ar­eas.

The poor san­i­tary con­di­tions of toi­lets in the re­gion have been greatly im­proved, thanks to the pro­gram, which is an ex­ten­sion of a na­tion­wide “toi­let rev­o­lu­tion” since 2015.

Xu En­qiang, a 68-year-old vil­lager, vol­un­teered to be a part of the project.

“The idea was not widely ac­cepted at the be­gin­ning, but af­ter my neigh­bors saw my new toi­let, they wanted to have their own too,” said Xu.

“Few months ago, we were us­ing a dirty and shabby la­trine in the cor­ner of our court­yard. Dur­ing sum­mer, the toi­let be­came a breed­ing ground for flies and mos­qui­toes,” he said.

Xu’s old toi­let was an ex­am­ple of the ma­jor­ity of ru­ral house­hold toi­lets in western China.

The project aims to re­place old pub­lic toi­lets with new ones, hop­ing to cover 85 per­cent of the ru­ral ar­eas in mid­west China, a less-de­vel­oped re­gion in the coun­try.

“The gov­ern­ment will help each house­hold build or ren­o­vate their out­house, which con­sists of a flush­ing toi­let, a sink, and a self-con­tained sewage sys­tem. The out­house will be around two to three square me­ters,” said Sun Chongbo, deputy gov­er­nor of Lantian.

“New toi­lets will pre­vent the spread of dis­eases and villagers will en­joy the con­ve­nience of a clean toi­let.

“More­over, the sewage sys­tem of the out­house will al­low the waste to be used as fer­til­izer for their crops,” Sun said.

Af­ter the treat­ment process, farm­ers can use a por­ta­ble de­vice to pump the fer­mented fer­til­izer, which com­pared with san­i­ta­tion trucks, is eas­ier and more con­ve­nient, Sun claimed.

By 2017, Shaanxi Prov­ince had over 2 mil­lion such toi­lets with waste treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties, ac­count­ing for nearly one third of the pro­vin­cial to­tal.

“These new fa­cil­i­ties will also help im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards of villagers and bring changes to their life­styles,” said Xue Yizheng, a lo­cal of­fi­cial in charge of san­i­ta­tion work.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment launched its “toi­let rev­o­lu­tion” across the coun­try in 2015 with an aim to make the most no­to­ri­ous pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties cleaner and more reg­u­lated.

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