Thirty-one million people in rural areas have no access to standardized clean water

The above figure was given at the workshop on supporting women and girls to access safe and sustainable clean water and sanitation. The workshop was organized by the Vietnam Women's Union (VWU) with the support of the United Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Ms. Ton Ngoc Hanh - alternate member of the Party Central Committee, Vice President of the VWU – makes the opening remark

The workshop aimed to consult with domestic and international organizations on the VWU draft Action Plan to implement the “3 clean-s”[1] criteria in the National Target Program on New Rural Building for 2021 - 2025, and to reach agreement with these respective agencies on their cooperation with the VWU in the implementation process.

Over the years, Vietnam has made significant progress in providing clean water and improving sanitation for the population, however the sanitary conditions of rural households remains a big concern.

Currently, 22% of rural households have no hygienic latrines (it means approximately 14 million people in rural areas are using substandard latrines), 31 million people in rural areas are not using standardized clean water. This does not only cause environmental pollution but also seriously affect the public health, especially that of women and children.

Ms. Nguyen Bich Ngoc from the National Center for Clean Water and Rural Sanitation shares information at the workshop

Every year, there are about 20,000 deaths in Vietnam due to unsanitary conditions, 9,000 deaths due to polluted water sources. Poor environmental sanitation greatly affects the national socio-economic development. Each year, Vietnam loses about 800 million USD due to poor sanitation situation.

Clean water and sanitation is one of the important indicators of the living standards, especially that of women and children. To further promote women and children’s access to clean water and sanitation, especially in remote and isolated areas, an action plan for WU at central and provincial levels for the next 3 years has been developed after the pilot technical support in four provinces of Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Thai Nguyen, and Gia Lai.

Over the past 10 years, with the support of domestic and international partners, WU of all levels have been actively implementing national goals on sanitation and clean water, thus helping millions of households to improve their sanitation and quality of life.

Delegates at the workshop

The criteria No 17.8 of the National Target Program on New Rural Development on the percentage of households with hygienic latrines, bathrooms and water storage facilities was built based on the 3 clean-s criteria of the campaign "Building a family of 5 without-s[2], 3 clean-s" launched by the VWU. The action plan is to implement this criteria with an objective of contributing at least 10% to the common goal of the whole country.

[1] Clean house, clean  kitchen and clean surrounding areas.

[2] Without poverty, violation of law and social evils, domestic violence, violation of population policies, and having malnourished and school drop-out children;

Translated by VWU International Relations Dept.