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Story and Photos by Huang Changgang | Yunnan-Guizhou Regional Program Officer | Heifer China
Yunnan Province sits on a plateau and enjoys much sun and other natural resources. The local government has attached great importance to protecting the environment. In many communities of the remote mountainous area of Yunnan, renewable energy sources like biogas, firewood-saving stoves and solar power are now available, thanks to the efforts of Heifer China and the local government's investments in recent years in rural energy improvement. Firewood consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced, protecting the forests.
With an abundance of sunlight, Yunnan is an ideal location for solar-energy bathrooms. In these bathrooms, the sun is used to warm water for handwashing and bathing. Each solar-energy shower costs between $800-$1,000, and many communities have built these bathrooms with the help of local government funding. With the influx of these new showers, hygiene has definitely improved. In addition, people can feed their livestock warm water in the cold winter, which helps prevent disease and improves animal welfare.
Most farmers used to have cheap water faucets that would frequently break or leak, wasting both time and money to replace. Heifer China launched a program in which the Hansgrohe Sanitary Products (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., donated 1,762 water faucets worth 423,589.9 Yuan Renminbi, or about $67,236, to this project. The water faucets were shipped to 10 communities in Yulong county of Lijiang, Shangri-La county of Diqing, and Longyang district of Baoshan. For 10 days, three project partners spent their days off delivering water faucets to project participants.