The Tibet autonomous region completed renovations of more 220,000 toilets in the region's rural areas by the end of October, underscoring the region's continuing efforts to improve rural residents' quality of life.
China launched the nationwide renovation initiative in 2015 to increase the number and quality of toilets around the nation's scenic spots. Later, the initiative developed into a campaign to build more public toilets in cities, renovate existing ones and build new ones in rural areas
The region's department of agriculture and rural affairs said more than 45 percent of the households in rural areas are using sanitary toilets now, and the renovations have contributed to improving living conditions for the people.
Answering the call of nature in shabby latrines was not a pleasant experience for Dondrup, a villager from Sergola, a farming village near the Yarlung Zangbo River in the Manri township of Nyingchi in Tibet.
Dondrup said that in the past, his fellow villagers used latrines that were apparently far from hygienic.
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He said he is now very pleased that Sergola has sanitary toilets in a much cleaner, brighter environment thanks to the government-supported renovation project.
China launched the nationwide renovation initiative in 2015 to increase the number and quality of toilets around the nation's scenic spots. Later, the initiative developed into a campaign to build more public toilets in cities, renovate existing ones and build new ones in rural areas.
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The government-supported campaign supports each household with a subsidy of 2,000 yuan (US$300). With this money, Dondrup's fellow villagers were able to afford to renovate their toilets.
"Thanks to the toilet renovation project, we had all the walls of our washroom decorated with colorful ceramic tiles last year. We also installed a water flushing closet, and now it's much more convenient," he said.
Dondrup said that his new toilet now has better lighting and shower equipment.
"At first, we were not really accustomed to having a toilet installed inside the house, because traditionally the toilets were built outside of the living area or in the corner of the yard. Gradually, we have found it is much more convenient and hygienic," he explained.
"When it's a snowy or windy day, going outdoors to use the toilet is a hard thing, especially for the elderly and the sick. And hygiene has greatly improved through the renovation of the toilet project－now our toilets are not smelly anymore," he added.
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Nyima, a Tibetan villager in Lhasa's Maldrogungkar county, told Xinhua News Agency that in the past, his toilet had no roof or door, and going to the toilet was not convenient at all.
"Last year, my fellow villagers said that the government would provide a 2,000-yuan subsidy if we have our toilets renovated, and I seized this opportunity," Nyima said.
"Now, I have the toilet installed with a proper roof and a nice door, and it looks much better."
Xinhua contributed to this story.
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