China an­nounces ex­tra steps to boost ru­ral ‘toi­let rev­o­lu­tion’ across na­tion

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

To im­prove the ru­ral liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, China will take seven mea­sures to pro­mote the ru­ral “toi­let rev­o­lu­tion,” the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

These seven mea­sures are: a com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of the ba­sic need, de­vel­op­ing sci­en­tific plans for con­struc­tion, the ra­tio­nal se­lec­tion of stan­dards and mod­els for the new toi­lets, pi­lot demon­stra­tions, strength­en­ing of tech­ni­cal sup­port for in­stal­la­tion, the es­tab­lish­ment and im­prove­ment of man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms, and the si­mul­ta­ne­ous pro­mo­tion of us­ing toi­lets in a way that does not re­lease haz­ardous waste.

Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Af­fairs Han Changfu sug­gested dur­ing a na­tional ru­ral re­form work pro­mo­tion con­fer­ence held on Oc­to­ber 9 in Zibo, East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince, that pro­mot­ing the ru­ral “toi­let rev­o­lu­tion” is a cru­cial part of im­prov­ing the liv­ing con­di­tion and in­creas­ing the hap­pi­ness of farm­ers.

“There are more than 550,000 ad­min­is­tra­tive vil­lages and more than 200 mil­lion ru­ral house­holds,” Han was quoted as say­ing dur­ing the meet­ing. In re­cent years, 53.5 per­cent of vil­lages in China have com­pleted or par­tially com­pleted toi­let ren­o­va­tions, and nearly half of ru­ral house­holds have car­ried out toi­let ren­o­va­tions, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a three-year ac­tion plan for im­prov­ing ru­ral liv­ing con­di­tions, by 2020, ru­ral toi­lets in in­ner sub­urbs of cities in eastern, cen­tral and west­ern China are ex­pected to com­plete their retrofitting. In ar­eas where ba­sic con­di­tions are bet­ter, the pen­e­tra­tion rate of san­i­tary toi­lets should be as high as 85 per­cent. In re­mote and un­der­de­vel­oped ar­eas, the pen­e­tra­tion rate should be sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased.

Han sug­gested that the key in the next step of the rev­o­lu­tion is to break through tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties in toi­let retrofitting in re­gions fac­ing se­vere cold and wa­ter short­ages. Of­fi­cials are ex­pected to ex­plore eco­nom­i­cal and prac­ti­cal tech­nol­ogy mod­els for ma­nure and waste­water dis­charge.

Han stressed that to pro­mote ru­ral toi­let re­form, the govern­ment should not en­gage in face-sav­ing projects, or con­cen­trate all re­sources to cre­ate a few demon­stra­tion vil­lages. In­stead, the govern­ment should push for­ward the re­form of ru­ral toi­lets by phases and steps, and pro­mote the im­prove­ment of ru­ral toi­lets across the coun­try.

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