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China builds more rural sanitary toilets

Xinhua, April 4, 2014 Adjust font size:

About 74 percent of households in rural China now have access to sanitary toilets, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Thursday.

By 2015, 75 percent of rural households should have sanitary toilets and by 2020 the ratio will rise to 85 percent, said Zhang Yong, deputy head of the commission at a regular press conference.

A sanitary toilet in rural China refers to a toilet, under a roof with walls and a standard digestion tank. It can either be dry or flush.

A survey in 1993 found only 7.5 percent of households with access to sanitary toilets. A national initiative launched in 2004 to improve rural sanitation and combat infectious disease, has seen the central government allocate about 8.3 billion yuan (about 1.3 billion U.S. dollars) for 21 million rural toilets.

Sanitary toilets reduce the population of mosquitoes and flies, and prevent disease. Thanks to the program, the incidence of diarrhea, typhoid fever and hepatitis A have notably decreased over the past decade, Zhang said.

The government expects to raise construction standards for sanitary toilets and introduce better waste processing technology.

A report by the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organization in 2012 showed 2.5 billion people worldwide still practiced open defecation or lacked adequate sanitation.

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