The agriculture ministry aims to supply clean water to 85 percent of population this year but an official is worried the country will face water shortage if the government does not protect the resource.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it would try to ensure that 70 percent of houses in rural areas have hygienic toilets and 70 percent of breeding farmers have hygienic breeding facilities this year.
Schools, including kindergartens, medical stations, markets and other public facilities in rural areas are also foci of the ministry plan.
In 2009, 79 percent of Vietnam population had access to clean water, 59 percent of households had clean toilets and 75 percent of schools had clean water and proper toilets, according to statistics from the ministry.
The ministry said it would now encourage private firms to build water plants and pipelines at all localities.
But Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said the problem wasn’t just access to water, it was dwindling supplies of the resource.
“Vietnam is short of water,” Hai said at a Hanoi conference on water resource and sustainable development Tuesday.
The deputy PM cited industrialization, modernization, the population boom and climate change as the causes, arguing that protecting water resources was “an extremely important mission for Vietnam.”
Nguyen Thai Lai, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said the ministry had asked the government to seek for support from residents and international partners to develop water sources.
A Vietnamese resident is supplied an average of 11,000 cubic meters of water a year, which is around the world average.
Yet 85 percent of that water is supplied during the rainy season and people still receive little during dry spells, Lai said.
Koos Neefjies, climate change adviser of United Nations Development Program, told the conference that Vientam needed urgent measures to ensure that water resources were protected and used properly.
A study release by the Hanoi University of Mining and Geology at the conference rang alarm bells over the vast reduction of groundwater, both in amount and quality, occurring in the country.
“We will face severe water shortages in a short time unless we have really effective measures (to protect water sources),” Lai said.
Source: Thanh Nien, VNA