A major Shanghai municipal engineering contractor has proposed helping more developing countries build clean and reliable water systems, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) encouraged more than 20 domestic water companies to take on more overseas projects related to water supply and drainage this week.
The local institute hosted the Overseas Municipal Engineering Cooperation Forum in the city along with the China International Contractors Association to boost overseas projects for domestic contractors.
China has mature water system technology, full industrial supply chain and deep construction experience, Lei Ting, president of the institute, told the forum.
“Chinese contractors should take the strategic opportunity to contribute to the quality development of the world’s water supply field,” Lei said.
More than 800 million people around the world lack clean drinking water, while 2.6 billion people have no basic hygiene facilities, according to statistics from the United Nations. The UN has listed clean water and sanitation as indispensable human rights.
Many developing countries are short of water resources and modern sanitation facilities, and the coronavirus outbreak has made the situation worse.
The Shanghai institute was established in 1954 as the National Water Supply and Drainage Design Institute, so it has advantages in terms of technology, engineering experience and professionals, according to the institute.
It has developed many key water plants, including the Qingcaosha Reservoir, the city’s major tap water source, the renovated Yangshupu Water Plant that dates back more than a century, and the Shidongkou and Bailonggang waste water treatment plants.
The institute has also played an active role in overseas Belt and Road Initiative projects. It established a branch in East Africa to take over water supply projects in Zambia, Cameroon and Kenya. It also built the Ulaanbaatar Sewage Plant in Mongolia and renovated the water supply pipeline in Rarotonga.