A township in mountainous rural China that became a major tourist attraction after archaeologists found dinosaur fossils there recently came into the international spotlight again but this time, not because of its archaeological past but instead its now promising future.
Till last year, the community within the Chuxiong Prefecture in the Dinosaur Valley Township lived without a permanent drinking water facility in the village. While there is a natural spring that flows through the village, this water is contaminated by animal manure and waste materials. In order to obtain relatively unpolluted water from upstream, villagers need to spend considerable time and effort to collect water manually from the main source of the spring, which is at a distance of 1,150 meters away in the surrounding hills. Many resorted to harvesting rainwater, which was especially inconsistent during the annual drought. A primary school in the village also had insufficient facilities to store water for its students. Wastewater from the school kitchen, teachers shower room and other washing points flowed freely, untreated. School toilets were also inadequate.
Last year, a collaboration between Green Cross International and Lien AID installed the first permanent water facilities at the village, bringing an improved access to clean water to the community. Two new suitable spring water sources were discovered through extensive research and evaluation. Water storage tanks were subsequently constructed, and a water distribution network set-up, piping water into homes and the school. Shower facilities with solar heaters as well as eco-toilets (with handwashing facilities) were also built in the school. Additionally, health and hygiene training was conducted to facilitate behavioural change.
The project is estimated to have benefited 442 people in the village.