Danida Supports Schemes of Hygienic Water Supply in Vietnam

Much progress has been made on the coverage of clean water supply for the Vietnamese rural population. However, not all the existing water schemes are well functioning. Danida’s support efforts to help change the Vietnamese focus to a balance between quantity and quality of the water schemes.
Currently, there are about 7,000 water piped schemes and millions of individual water facilities in Vietnam; however, a lot of efforts will have to be made to reach the target that by year 2010, 85% of the Vietnamese rural population will have access to hygienic water.
Whereas strong development has been made on increasing the quantity of water schemes, the quality of these schemes is still a big challenge. The Vietnamese Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (CERWASS) has reviewed existing water schemes in 39 provinces or cities and found out that 14 % of the schemes are not operational at all or operated under very poor conditions.
Operation and Maintenance of water schemes has been one of the main issues in the policy discussion between the donors in the joint support (Denmark, Australia, and the Netherlands) and the Vietnamese counterparts aimed at improving the effectiveness and sustainability of the Vietnamese Rural Water Supply and Sanitation National Target Programme II (RWSS NTP II)
Provinces are encouraged to allocate funds for renovating/upgrading existing water supply schemes instead of concentrating on new construction.
“It is not economical to focus only on new construction. If in 2008, we prioritise our funds on renovation/upgrading the existing schemes, we can provide access to water to a large number of rural people with much lower costs than building new schemes.” said Minister Cao Duc Phat, chairman of the RWSS NTP II Steering Committee.
Paying equal attention to the quality of water schemes is a positive move of the government to ensure that the limited resources for the RWSS NTP II will be utilized in the most effective way.

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