China will need to spend 3 trillion yuan (US$440 billion) over three years to improve village sanitation and clean up its heavily polluted rural environment, People’s Daily reported over the weekend, citing government officials.
The funds will be required to meet state targets to build clean rural toilets, treat household waste, and construct village sewage treatment plants, the Communist Party journal said, Reuters reports.
China has allocated 7 billion yuan to promote rural “toilet revolution” this year, and another 3 billion yuan to spend on improving the living environment of villagers in western and central China, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was quoted as saying.
China’s “war on pollution”, now in its sixth year, has up to now focused primarily on improving air quality in industrialized cities along the east coast.
It has made little inroads so far in improving the rural environment, where large amounts of land and water have been contaminated as a result of negligible waste treatment infrastructure, the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, and the construction of substandard backyard industrial plants, Reuters noted.
The agricultural ministry vowed last year to take action to tackle rural pollution, promising to improve village infrastructure and the “bad habits” of rural residents.
However, it conceded that there was still a considerable funding gap.
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