Many workers in Tien Giang Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have been working relentlessly to install the pipeline system needed to provide fresh water for local citizens, who have been using salty tap water owing to the extreme dry season.
This year’s dry season is expected to end in late May but over 235,000 people in Tien Giang are currently using tap water with a salt content of up to one gram per liter, local authorities have said.
Many canals and reservoirs in Go Cong Dong District and Tan Phu Dong District have barely any water in them, while the remaining volume is salty and undrinkable, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters’ observation.
Locals have been forced to use salt water for their daily activities like cooking, washing and showering, Pham Thi Tuyen said, adding that reserves of rainwater from previous seasons are being utilized as drinking water.
Tuyen expressed concern that her family will not have a sufficient amount of water to drink, as the dry season is not expected to end for another three months.
“Water will evaporate very quickly under this intense heat. We expect to run out of water in about two weeks,” Le Van Nhuong, another local citizen, said.
Similar complaints have also been heard from people living in Tan Tay, Kieng Phuoc, Tan Phuoc, Gia Thuan, Tang Hoa, and many other districts of Tien Giang.
“I do not have to add salt to my cooking anymore,” one of the local citizens joked.
Those who have to use salty tap water are still considered lucky as about 700 households in Binh Dong Commune have been completely deprived of water, while over 1,000 others only have access to the water for two hours per day.
Huynh Cong Dung, director of Tien Giang Water Company, said that his firm has purchased nearly 7,000 meters of high-density polyethylene pipe in order to distribute fresh water.
“As the chairman of the provincial People’s Committee has ordered that all people in the locality should have clean water within 10 days, we have dispatched 80 workers and specialized equipment to work around the clock since February 19,” Dung said.
The workers did not have time to prepare as the order was quite urgent, Truong Van Hung, an on-site manager, said, adding that despite exhaustion caused by the extreme weather conditions, they have managed to encourage each other to quickly complete their mission.
After a week of non-stop work, the 6.3 kilometer-long pipeline system in Xu Go Cong District was completed, three days ahead of schedule.
The workers, without rest, then continued similar work in Tan Tay Commune and Gia Thuan Commune both in Go Cong Dong District and finished within one day on February 26, in accordance with the designated plan.
They were then given a day off before carrying out their new mission in other communes of the district, where 5,000 households are still in need of fresh water.