The Chinese government is allocating a special fund of 500 million yuan (US$73.21 million) to improve the environment in about 700 villages this year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said on Tuesday.
The fund will also have local investments of about 1 billion yuan. It is expected to benefit over 4 million rural people, MEP said in a statement on its website.
About 600 villages facing severe environmental problems will receive 450 million yuan from the fund, and over 100 villages aiming to become ecologically sound will be rewarded with 50 million yuan.
The special fund will assist in setting up water resource protection zones in the countryside to provide safe and clean drinking water to rural populations.
Small-scale treatment facilities for pollution from livestock will be set up in farm households, utilizing livestock manure as a source of biomethane.
Both centralized sewage treatment plants and dispersed small-scale facilities will be established in rural areas according to local conditions. Household garbage from rural households will also be collected and likely treated, according to the statement.
At the first national meeting on rural environmental protection in July, the State Council set a target of achieving a 10 percent rise in the treatment of sewage and consumer waste by 2010.
(China Daily November 26, 2008)