China has launched a survey of drinking water and hygiene in the
rural areas this month, aiming to improve rural environment and
living quality of farmers.
The current data of rural drinking water and environment has
been out of date due to changes in the countryside these years,
according to the Ministry of Health.
The survey aims to investigate the current quality of drinking
water, renovation of toilets, processing of excrement and wastes
and waste water in the rural areas.
It expects to help formulate guidelines for improving rural
drinking water safety and provide information for renovating rural
toilets and curb environmental pollution.
The survey will be conducted from August 2006 to May 2007 in 31
provinces, regions and cities and Xinjiang Production and
Construction Corp, under direct leadership of vice Health Minister
There are still at least 300 million rural residents in China
who have no access to safe and clean drinking water, and only 31
percent of rural toilet reach hygienic standards, according to the
Ministry of Health.
Most of the rural areas have no waste water processing
facilities or proper collection of garbage. Public awareness of
hygiene is low too, causing spread of infectious diseases and
endemics in some places.
The last nationwide survey in drinking water and water-related
illness was conducted from 1983 to 1988. Surveillance of drinking
water in the rural areas started in 1992.
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2006)