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Safe water project fails to quench countryside thirst

[ 2010-03-25 11:48]     字号 [] [] []  
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A project to provide safe water to millions of rural residents has fallen short of its goals, shows an audit released on Wednesday.

Carried out in rural areas since 2006, the project aimed to provide clean drinking water for 7.8 million people but by the end of 2008 had still left more than 1.2 million people high and dry.

The audit, by the National Audit Office (NAO), covered 103 counties in 19 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

Xu Jiming, a senior NAO official, said the management of the project was mostly done according to the rules.

"The project has basically reached the target and benefited farmers," he said.

According to statistics from water administration departments, the safe-water project improved sanitation in rural areas, decreased water-borne infection, saved about 200 yuan ($30) per household in medical expenses and saved an average 53 work days in carrying water per household.

"However, problems still exist. In some places, the local government did not carry out the project according to the plan, or did not allocate funds in a timely fashion," Xu said.

Money for the project came from the central and local governments, and farmers.

The central government allocated 1.9 billion yuan ($282 million) to local governments, and 94 percent was put into the project on time, said the NAO announcement.

On the other hand, 83 of the 103 counties did not allocate supporting local government funds on time. A total of 546 million yuan was put to projects by local governments, accounting for only 56 percent of the planned supporting fund.


1. How many people does the project provide clean drinking water for in 2006?

2. How many counties did the audit cover?

3. How much money has the central government allocated?


1. 7.8 million.

2. 103.

3. 1.9 billion yuan.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Safe water project fails to quench countryside thirst

About the broadcaster:

Safe water project fails to quench countryside thirst

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.