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China Introduces Solar-powered Baths

China has devised a cost-effective solar energy bathing scheme for its population in the countryside where statistics //show that 200 million out of China's 800 million rural people bathe only once a month.

Now energy experts have devised a bathing scheme aimed at introducing China's rural population to the joys of a hot bath.

Tens of millions of Chinese population were found to bathe only once every quarter or every six months, leading to a high number of diseases, which resulted from bad hygiene.

The problem is especially acute in Chinese villages where some farmers and herdsmen do not bathe for a whole lifetime because of poverty and lack of facilities.

Solar energy is being promoted in China's countryside as an alternative to inefficient and polluting gas stoves.

The stoves rely on the burning of low-quality briquette that contains sulfur dioxide and other poisonous elements, which can harm human health and environment.

A solar energy bathing scheme set up by the Shandong-based Huangming Solar Energy Group and Yijianeng Solar Energy Company brought the idea of regular bathing to Zhuangke village in Dezhou city, Shandong province, last winter.

For a fee of one yuan (about 12.5 US cents) per head and 1.5 yuan (about 18.75 cents) in winter, more than 1,000 villagers can bathe in a village bathhouse.

More than 100 solar energy bathhouses have been set up in Dezhou.

Experts said more than 150 million Chinese people are using solar energy water heaters.

A public fund for solar energy development has been managed by the Huangming Group and Yijianeng company and they have invested eight million yuan ($1 million) in the construction of solar energy bathhouses in China's rural areas.

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