City in Anhui appoints 39 'toilet chiefs'


Chaohu in East China's Anhui province has appointed 39 "toilet chiefs" to ensure high standards at all public restrooms, with Hu Qisheng, the city's Party chief, tasked with overseeing their work.

"As the city has 280,000 urban residents, we should have at least 100 public toilets, but we're still far from that goal," Hu said, adding that the city has abundant tourism resources and is receiving an increasing number of visitors.

"Clean and easily accessible public toilets are a window to a modern and civilised city. Just increasing the number of toilets is not enough - it's also important to improve the sanitation standards at the ones we already have."

The toilet chiefs, who were appointed in September, are all officials with the city's urban administration department, according to Zou Dayong, the city's environmental sanitation director.

Zou, who is the toilet chief for Xiexiuyuan Park, said he is required to visit the toilet at least three times a week.

"A cleaner arranged by a local property management company will always be present at the toilet," he said.

"The toilet should always have running water and free toilet paper, and be free of foul odours."

The city government plans to invest 18 million yuan (S$3.7 million) in building and renovating 91 public restrooms in urban areas.

In addition, facilities in 21 city buildings have been opened to the public.

A shortage of public toilets is an issue faced by China, which has vowed to develop its tourism sector.

The country's so-called toilet revolution is part of a 2-trillion-yuan investment plan announced late last year to develop tourism by 2020.

In response to complaints about the sanitary conditions of such facilities, about 100,000 new public toilets will be built across the country during that period.