CHINA / SOCIETY
Poverty alleviation in NW China’s Shaanxi exposed as fake, as villagers forced to fetch water from across province
Published: Apr 25, 2021 04:25 PM
A villager picks edible fungi at a planting base in Guowang Township of Fengxiang District, Baoji City of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, March 16, 2021. In recent years, local government have been encouraging local farmers to increase their income by growing edible fungi.(Photo: Xinhua)

A villager picks edible fungi at a planting base in Guowang Township of Fengxiang District, Baoji City of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, March 16, 2021. In recent years, local government have been encouraging local farmers to increase their income by growing edible fungi.(Photo: Xinhua)



Villagers in Shangluo, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, were reportedly found to have been living in destitution with no access to drinking water, after the county claimed to have improved living conditions and withdrawn from the poverty-stricken list last February. The Shaanxi provincial government responded to the matter on Saturday, saying that a thorough investigation is underway. 

Sanxing village in Shangluo, which was pulled out of the poverty-stricken list in 2019, was found to have installed water faucets in households with no water ever running out from them. Villagers say they are merely an image project for local authorities and an "insignificant decoration." 

The real source of water for a dozen nearby families is a moss-covered well, a local resident surnamed Qiao told reporters in a field visit program by CCTV News on Friday. 

From the video, a layer of debris could be seen floating on the water with tadpoles swimming inside. However, Qiao and her neighbors regarded the puddle as "a treasure."

The villagers even managed to collect rainwater from the eaves on roofs and filtered them with gauze.

When reporters confronted local officials at the water resources bureau, they said they were not aware of the situation, and the problem "must have not existed," while grabbing the phone from the reporter who was trying to film the scene.

Ding Xianfeng from another village in the county told CCTV News that they had to fetch water from neighboring Henan Province, a trip that took over an hour on the road. The price of water costs 50-60 yuan ($7.7-9.2) per ton, Ding explained. 

However, a card stuck to the wall of Ding's house issued by the local government made specific requirements of drinking water standards, and said "the water quality complies with the national drinking water sanitary standards. It provides more than 20 liters per person per day, and the time for water supply to households or water extraction does not exceed 20 minutes."

On Saturday, the Shaanxi provincial government said it had dispatched an investigation team to look into the matter, and will publish the findings in a timely manner, read the statement on its official WeChat account. 

Global Times


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