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Official blames pipeline issues for chronic water scarcity dogging 3,400 households in Vietnam

Monday, June 29, 2020, 13:29 GMT+7
Official blames pipeline issues for chronic water scarcity dogging 3,400 households in Vietnam
A resident tries to get water from a drilled well at his home in My Chanh Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Over 3,000 households in Binh Dinh Province, located in south-central Vietnam, have been struggling with serious water shortage despite living near a VND12 billion (US$517,900) water plant.

The My Chanh water plant, located in Binh Dinh’s Phu My District, was built in 2004 to supply clean water to 3,400 families in 16 local villages.

However, local residents have been confronted by water scarcity over the past years.

“The factory has never provided enough water for us," said Pham Thi Lien, who lives across from the My Chanh factory.

"After 2015, it only operated for about one or two hours a day.

The My Chanh water factory in the namesake commune in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

The My Chanh water factory in the namesake commune in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

“We only receive less than 30 liters of water a day [from the factory] and have to source extra water from our well."

The well water in My Chanh Commune is often affected by saltwater intrusion, which means many families are not able to rely on a well to provide enough water for their needs.

Truong Thi Van, who lives less than two kilometers away from the plant, said she has to buy clean water from other residents on a daily basis.

A resident buys clean water in My Chanh Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

A resident buys clean water in My Chanh Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

“I have to do this every year in the sunny season. A 30-liter can of water costs me about VND2,000 [US$0.09],” Van stated.

Water scarcity usually lasts from March to October each year in the locale and is most serious between June and September, according to Le Van Toan, vice-chairman of the My Chanh Commune People’s Committee. 

The My Chanh water plant was built at a cost of VND2 billion ($86,400) in 2004, and underwent an upgrade worth VND10 billion ($431,500) in 2011, Toan continued.

A resident buys clean water in My Chanh Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

A resident buys clean water in My Chanh Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

“Only the factory was upgraded, while its pipeline system did not receive much attention. The system became damaged over the years and this has affected the supply of water,” the official explained.

In order to solve the problem, the Binh Dinh administration has approved another VND38.3 billion ($1.6 million) upgrade of the factory, said Dao Van Hung, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The work will not be complete until at least next year, Hung said.

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