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Tibetans Enjoy Better Ecological Environment

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Lhamu found this year the living environment was quite different inside and outside her two-story house. The toilet used to be a hole circled with wood, and a bucket of water had to be used for flushing. She now has a brand new bathroom, with flushing squat- toilet and shower facility.

"I don't need to wait till the 'bath festival'in the summer to bath in the lake. I can now take a shower whenever I want," said the 31-year-old Lhama of Zhaxigang village of Nyingchi Prefecture in Tibet.

Lhamu's new bathroom is the result of the funding from the local government and aid from Guangdong Province. Every household in Zhaxigang village has received more than 10,000 yuan (US$147) to upgrade their toilets into modern ones.

The living environment difference also appeared outside Lhamu's house. A rubbish-recycling basket was positioned in the yard and a biogas tank was set up. As the ecological environment protection village of the Nyingchi Prefecture, Zhaxigang villagers learned to cover up rubbish in the fixed place and release the sewage through the biogas tank.

The Nyingchi Prefecture, with an average altitude of 3,000 meters in the southeast of Tibet, is the most typical region of the biology variation with more than 2,000 rare plant species. The forest coverage rate has reached 46 percent, boasting the country's largest ancient natural forests.

The village also set up an ecological environment protection association last year to help the local government work out practical environment protection plans. The association also handed out surveys on enviornment protection awareness to villagers. It found out that more than 90 percent of villagers were satisfied with the environment and knew more about ecological protection.

Better household living condition and ecological environment also attracted visitors from afar to boost local tourism. According to the local tourism bureau, the number of the tourists reached more than one million in 2009 with a revenue of 800 million yuan.

Meanwhile, 680 households of farmers and herdsmen participated in local tourism and earned more than five million yuan in total.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2010)

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