Life Life

25/01/2021 - 11:03

Bringing water supply up mountainous areas

The urban-rural gap in Hue is gradually bridged with the improvement in the quality of life, one of which is the percentage of residents provided with clean water.

Constructing D1200 Quang Te pipelines

“Such a relief!”

The United Nations Water Conference (1997) reached a consensus that: “All peoples, regardless of their age and socio-economic conditions, have the right to have access to drinking / clean water in quantities and of a quality equal to their basic needs.” This viewpoint is gradually adopted when clean water has been supplied from coastal areas to the highlands of Nam Dong, A Luoi.

The shortage of clean water would be an obsession for people of my hometown (Dien Hai Commune, Phong Dien district) who used to extract groundwater flowing from sand dunes for domestic use all year round. With a coastal commune facing Tam Giang lagoon and being backed by long coastal sandy patches, its residents have to take a boat across the lagoon to get to the city. Bringing clean water back is really difficult.

As Mr. Chau Ngoc Long, Head of Planning - Technical Office of Thua Thien Hue Water Supply Joint Stock Company (HueWACO) recalled, bringing water to Ngu Dien Commune (Phong Dien district) was not easy. Initially, HueWACO planned to construct the pipeline system through the lagoon connecting Hoa Binh Chuong Water Plant with Dien Loc Commune to supply water to the Communes of Ngu Dien, Quang Ngan, Quang Cong (Quang Dien district), Hai Duong (Huong Tra district). However, it costs a huge amount of money to do this.

After a period of researching, HueWACO developed a plan to construct the pipeline system from Sia through the lagoon. The pipeline system would not make a detour as before, but 2.8km of it would pass through the lagoon (total length of about 6km).

Operating water supply system in Nam Dong

With this plan, there is no need to build booster stations and the cost is only VND 6.4 billion instead of VND 60 billion as the original plan; the construction time is also much shorter. In early 1999, people of Ngu Dien Commune officially gained access to clean water.

Following the project of passing through the lagoon, clean water also passes through the forest to reach residents in the highlands of Nam Dong and A Luoi, gradually changing the habits of using natural water resources of the locals, especially the ethnic minorities.

Mr. Tran Dinh Gon, Thuong Nhat commune, Nam Dong district shared: “We would take water from streams for domestic use for many generations. Although we know that this water source is polluted by pesticides, cattle grazing, etc., we still have to “endure” using it. Now that the clean water has been supplied to our home, everyone feels relieved because we just have to turn on the tap to get water.

92% of the province's population have access to clean water

According to Mr. Truong Cong Han, General Director of HueWACO, in the 2000s, the Province had a policy of concentrating capital from the National Target Program (NTP) on Clean Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, connecting urban running water supply systems to rural areas. At that time, only 35% of the province’s population (mainly in urban areas) had access to clean water. Thanks to the integration of NTP (35%) with HueWACO's investment (35%) and the People's contribution of 30%, the rate of rural water supply has been gradually improved.

HueWACO implemented the project to upgrade and expand the water supply system in the whole province, regardless of urban and rural areas, with the loan capital from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), of which VND 364 billion was invested in rural areas, accounting for 48% of the project's value. When the project was completed, 700 km (100%) has been put into use, supplying water to nearly 90,000 more people, especially in rural areas.

Up to now, HueWACO has supplied clean water to 92% of the province's population with nearly 5,000 km of pipelines, regardless of urban and rural areas.

100% of the province's population will be provided with clean water by 2022

According to the Politburo’s Resolution No. 54, targeting the period of 2021 - 2025, it is essential that 100% of the province's population be supplied with clean water. At the meeting with relevant departments & sub-departments on the recent water supply plan in 2021, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho requested that by the end of 2022, 100% of the population across the province would have access to clean water.

It is not easy to achieve the above goal when 8% of the province's population with more than 22,700 households (concentrating mainly in A Luoi district) do not have access to clean water. In addition, the current water supply infrastructure in rural areas mainly inherits from rural clean water supply projects with inadequate quality and small capacity, which fails to ensure the safe and sustainable clean water supply and water security, as well as to meet the local socio-economic development needs.

To ensure the safe and sustainable clean water supply for 100% of the population of the whole province, besides early implementation of medium-term public investment projects 2021-2025 with a total investment of nearly VND 134 billion, of which VND 99 billion (74%) is from state budget and nearly VND 35 billion is from HueWACO’s capital (26%), which increases the percentage of people having access to drinking / clean water to 95%, the province needs to allocate an additional public investment capital of VND 198 billion (VND 144 billion from the state budget) to upgrade and improve water supply systems.

"To ensure water supply for 100% of the province's population by 2022 as directed by the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, it is necessary to have the capital of VND 465 billion, of which VND 365 billion is from state budget and VND 109 billion is from the company’s capital,” said Mr. Han.

Story and photos: Hoang Loan