Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao vowed Saturday to tackle algae outbreaks that stench the country's freshwater lakes, urging officials to take environmental management of the lakes as a state project.
Since May, blue-green algae outbreaks have been reported in eastern Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake and southwestern Dianchi Lake, endangering local tap water supply.
"We need to take environmental management of the three lakes as a state project and put it at a more prominent, pressing and important position," Wen said at a meeting on pollution control work of the three lakes.
"We should tackle the problem with scientific approach, good leadership, and high standards and confidence," Wen said.
The priority is to protect the lakes from further pollution and ensure the safety of drinking water for the local residents, Wen said.
In the meeting, Wen asked local officials to strengthen supervision and ban factories from discharging pollutants into the lakes.
He also urged more investment into tackling the algae pollution and strengthened efforts to draft regulations on the environmental protection of the three lakes.
(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2007)