YINCHUAN, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — More farmers in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region are drinking potable water due to the efforts of the regional government.
One year after the People and Livestock Drinking Water Project was launched, about 457,000 farmers in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have gained access to potable water.
The project, which consists of two phases, aims to ensure safe drinking water for the 1.17 million residents in southern Ningxia.
Xihaigu region, with a population of 2.5 million, is the only area in Ningxia with a serious potable water problem. The scarcity of drinking water, along with its high fluorine and arsenic content, have severely affected the life of the residents.
Due to the efforts of the regional government, by the beginning of 2002, over one million people in the region had sufficient water and 500,000 more had gained access to improved drinking water, leaving 970,000 residents without sufficient water and 200, 000 with contaminated drinking water.
An investment of about 187.8 million yuan (22.7 million US dollars) for Phase I of the project, which was completed in 2002, alleviated the potable water problem of 357,000 farmers in the water shortage area. It also alleviated the problems of an additional 100,000 farmers in the area afflicted with serious fluorine and arsenic disease.
The progress was achieved through the rebuilding and digging of more underground springs, wells and basins to collect rain water.
Phase II of the People and Livestock Drinking Water Project is scheduled to be carried out in 2003.