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VN must improve waste water treatment

Update: January, 21/2014 - 09:04
A waste water treatment in southern Soc Trang City. The World Bank estimates that Viet Nam needs about US$8.3 billion to provide waste water treatment services in urban areas by 2025. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Hieu

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam needs about US$8.3 billion to provide waste water treatment services to its 36 million urban residents by 2025, according to a World Bank report released yesterday.

Over the last 20 years, the Government made considerable progress when it came to providing waste water services in urban areas, investing $500 million annually.

However, keeping pace with rapid urbanisation was challenging, said Le Duy Hung, Senior Urban Specialist and team leader for the review, at a meeting yesterday in Ha Noi.

Poor sanitation leads to economic losses of $780 million or 1.3 per cent of Viet Nam's GDP every year, according to the report, which urged the sanitation sector to address several critical issues.

Although 60 per cent of households disposed of waste water through a public sewage system, much of this went to the drainage system with only 10 per cent of the water treated, the report said.

And while 90 per cent of households disposed waste water to septic tanks, only 4 per cent of the septage was treated.

The report recommended solutions such as applying integrated water resource management principles, developing appropriate financing policies for the sanitation sector and issuing public-private partnerships.

Deputy minister of Construction Cao Lai Quang said that the ministry would co-operate with relevant agencies to amend current policies in order to encourage private investors to invest in the waste water treatment system.

At the meeting, the World Bank also introduced a regional synthesis of in-depth sector studies in Viet Nam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The document explains what holds back the sector and recommends solutions for the three countries to improve sanitation services. — VNS

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