As clean water and environmental sanitation is defined as an important indicator of evaluation criteria of the National Target Program for New Countryside Construction, Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center always strives to fulfill its assigned tasks of supplying clean water and improving rural people’s livelihoods. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr. Dang Trung Thanh, Director of Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center. Duy Binh reports.
The Resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress (2015-2020 term) set the target that 95% of rural residents use clean hygenic water by 2020. To realize this important indicator, how has the center focused on carrying out programs and projects, and mobilized investment resources for clean water supply and environmental sanitation?
In recent years, the Hoa Binh Provincial People's Committee has always paid attention to rural clean water supply and environmental sanitation programs funded by various sources (e.g. the National Target Program for New Countryside Construction, the National Target Program for Clean Water and Environmental Sanitation, Poverty Reduction Project, Program 135, the Project for Residential Stabilization and Socioeconomic Development for People Relocated from Hoa Binh Lake, Childfund, WB Projects, ADB Projects, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies) to build centralized clean water facilities, tanks and wells for households throughout the province.
Currently, Hoa Binh province has 303 concentrated water supply works built with many sources of capital, including 22 sustainable works, 66 average works, and 95 underperforming works. 93.2% of rural people have access to clean water and 82.5% of poor people use clean water.
After being completed, water works were handed over to operators. Most localities lack operators, lack management regulations and lack water charge collection plans. So, they are not regularly maintained. Professional capabilities of technicians are not strong, while personnel training lacks proper care and equipment for repairing the rural water supply system is rudimentary.
On the other hand, technical infrastructure development and road construction have caused more pipe breakages that affect water quality. Clean water preservation in rural households has not been paid much attention. Groundwater and surface water get polluted due to low knowledge of some people.
Therefore, in addition to its efforts to invest in clean water supply systems, bring clean water to each household, Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center pays attention to building rural environmental protection works. As a result, rural environmental sanitation in the province has achieved positive progress, rural landscape and environment have been significantly improved. This has greatly stimulated the center to further invest in water supply construction, upgrading and expansion towards modernity and sustainability. All these efforts have helped the center improve the efficiency of domestic water supply facilities, raise the quality of water supply, ensure health and enhance the quality of life and social security for all people in rural areas and minorities in the province.
How has the center trained capacity building, maintenance and operation, water quality control for consumers?
Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center has also worked together with other agencies to effectively manage, operate and maintain; increasingly informed and mobilized people to use clean water economically, rightly; conducted a thorough inspection of the pipeline network to detect errors and breakdowns for prompt repair, prevent water loss, and ensure adequate supply of water.
On training, using the fund from the National Target Program on New Countryside Construction, Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center annually collaborates with the District Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Communal People's Committees to open communication training courses for people to raise public awareness in rural areas, facilitate local socioeconomic development, and fulfill clean water and environment criteria in the National New Rural Commune Criteria in 2016-2020. Specifically, in 2018, the center opened 23 training courses on waste management and collection for 344 trainees in rural areas in the province. In 2019, it opened 33 training courses on indicators of monitoring and assessing clean water and sanitation for more than 500 trainees in the province.
The center’s water control was carried out in accordance with Circular 50/2015/TT-BYT on hygiene and quality inspection of drinking water and daily-life water and Circular 41/2018/TT-BYT dated December 14, 2018 on water quality inspection and supervision. Every quarter, the center sends reports to the Preventive Medicine Center or the District Health Center responsible for preventive medicine and to competent agencies.
What do you like to recommend to authorities for rural water projects to work more effectively?
Given the above difficulties and advantages, Hoa Binh Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Center has some proposals as follows:
First, the Party Committee and authorities at all levels must seriously manage and operate water supply; actively foster communications in rural areas to raise public awareness of water environment protection; closely coordinate with local construction units to better manage pipelines to ensure water quality.
Second, authorities must arrange funds for upgrading and repairing damaged works and expanding water supply works to meet new countryside construction criteria.
Third, strengthening support, building capacity of management and operation employees through training courses and technical assistance activities.
Fourth, further supporting construction management and operation restructuring to adapt more effective models.
Last, allocating non-business capital for the construction of new rural areas annually to water supply and sanitation centers to repair and upgrade clean water and sanitation facilities for more effective and sustainable operation and management.
Vietnam Business Forum