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|LANZHOU Cheap Men's New Balance 574 Classic Grey White Shoes , Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- For years, Wang Xiagui's biggest concern was getting drinking water.
Living in the village of Xiajie in the parched Gansu Province of northwest China, Wang had to walk at least five kilometers to fetch safe drinking water on the other side of the mountain.
"A trip back would take about an hour by foot, so it was very inconvenient," Wang said.
These days, however, Wang's life has changed thanks to an ongoing government initiative that aims to bring safe drinking water to rural Gansu.
According to figures publicized by the Gansu Provincial Department of Water Resources this week Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Orange Green Shoes , the Gansu government has pumped about 11.4 billion (1.7 billion U.S. dollars) in funds to construct water projects in Gansu over the past decade, with more than 16 million rural residents having received clean water by the end of 2015.
In Weiyuan County, where Wang Xiagui's village is located, tap water has reached 96 percent of local population, according to local Party chief Ji Xiu.
"There was a famous saying here in the past: People should never set foot in the parched ravine of our county," Wang said as he collected water from his tap. "Now it's a different story."
Gansu Province is long known for its severe droughts, with a meager 302 millimeters of average annual precipitation. In the eastern financial hub Shanghai Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Orange Navy Shoes , the number stands at 1,123 mm.
In the 2,000 years before 1949, the province suffered 749 droughts, averaging one drought every three years. In recent years, the frequency has only risen, with the situation particularly severe in the countryside as modern water projects were scarce.
Xiao Kecheng was one of those who suffered.
The 59-year-old farmer said he had been collecting muddy water from the ravine in Gansu's Gaoshan Village since he was six.
"There was not much water Cheap Men's New Balance 574 Black White Shoes , so we had to queue at night," Xiao recalled.
He said that local residents also saved rain water in their cellars to drink later. In extremely dry years, they had to buy water from cities and towns, spending more than 1,000 yuan each year on it, a huge burden for the poor community.
Beginning in 2005, the Gansu government launched a campaign to tackle the drinking water issue by building water projects Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Retro Black Green Shoes , after a government survey in 2004 found more than 15 million rural residents did not have access to safe drinking water.
Since then, tens of thousands of wells and cisterns have been built across the countryside.
According to the provincial water resources department, a total of 6,069 big water projects and 81,700 small ones have been built, with 80 percent of rural population now able to access tap water, compared to just 25.8 percent ten years ago.
In Zhangjiachuan County Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Black White Shoes , for example, supervision cameras have been set up near water reservoirs, with staff monitoring the water quality 24 hours a day. A county-level water quality inspection center has also been established, with professionals doing tests regularly to make sure local residents are drinking safe water.
The projects have changed the lives of local rural people in Gansu, improving quality of life and contributing to agriculture development.
"In the past I did not dare raise many sheep, because getting drinking water for my family was a big headache, let alone water for animals Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Pink White Shoes ," said farmer Ma Jianying from Bulenggou Village. "Now I have raised more than 160 sheep thanks to the water projects."
For Liu Honghong, fresh tap water means her family can finally take showers at home.
"We used to walk to public bathrooms in the township five km away," Liu said. "On windy days, we would be covered in dirt again when we reached home."
Water resource official Zhang Shihua said that while the drinking water problem is "basically solved", challenges remain.
"Some projects are too small and cannot guarantee enough water supply under bad weather conditions," Zhang said. "We will improve the situation in the next five years."
The Gansu government plans to upgrade water projects in 1,107 villages to extend water supply facilities to some 260 Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Retro Pink Shoes ,000 rural households.
TOKYO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The Nikkei stock index gained 0.13 percent to a fresh five-month closing high Monday, supported by solid manufacturing data in China and record closing highs on Wall Street Friday.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 19.86 points to finish at 15,369.28, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 1.44 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 1 Cheap Men's New Balance 574 Grey Green Shoes ,267.48.
Market players here said the market got off to a good start following U.S. shares' solid performance, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index closing at fresh record highs on Friday.
In addition the market's upside buying was also underpinned by solid figures from China showing that demand for its exports is improving as the government's stimulus program shows signs of taking positive effect.
The HSBC preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers index, a gauge of factory activity in the world's second-largest economy, rose to a seven-month high of 50.8, rising from 49.4 last month, HSBC Holdings PLC and data firm Markit said, with the latest reading showing the index had moved above the key 50 threshold line Cheap Women's New Balance 574 Retro Grey Pink Shoes , showing that manufacturing is in an expansion phase.
"The data supports projections that China's economy will expand by around 7.4 percent in the April-June period from a year earlier, and this is a positive for global equity markets and the world economy at large," said one local analyst.
Other analysts suggested the market may be overheating following its extended run of solid performances, but that the upward trend would continue for now, thanks to domestic pension funds being in a risk-on mood and forcing international players to join the rally.
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