Ha Thanh Hang, permanent chief of the National Target Programme for Rural Water and Sanitation, spoke to Nong thon ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper about targets for the upcoming period.
The National Target Programme for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation has gained achievements from 2012-15. However, there are still many challenges ahead. Can you talk about this?
Although the programme has promulgated many policies and mechanisms, as well as guidelines on implementation, the documents, especially public-private partnership guidelines in rural water supply and sanitation sector, are still insufficient and asynchronous.
There are significant differences in clean water usage between regions. Underprivileged areas have little access to water and sanitation supply. The management, exploitation and maintenance of water supply systems in Northern mountainous area, Highlands and North central coast, has been poor. Only 75 per cent of those systems are functioning effectively.
During the implementation of the programme, encountering difficulties is inevitable, as policies and mechanisms, especially sanctions on post-investment management operations, are not strong enough to lure the participation of economic sectors (including private sector)
During 2016-20, this programme will integrate with the National Target Programme for New Rural Construction. Will there be any changes in the core tasks, targets and direction of the programme?
The General Directorate of Irrigation has developed and proposed to the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry the water supply and sanitation project for the period 2016-20 under the New Rural Construction programme. Two big projects to be carried out in this period are Water Supply for Rural Area and Rural Sanitation projects. Total investment to implement these two projects is VND78 trillion (US$3.4 billion).
The water supply project will focus on investing in constructing, upgrading and maintaining over 7,000 water supply systems in rural areas and 6,800 schools and 1,400 communal health clinics.
The aim of this project is to ensure that 95 per cent of rural people will have access to sanitation water, 100 per cent of schools and health clinics have water supply facilities and hygienic restrooms. We hope to realise the national target of clean water and sanitation supply to rural areas by 2020, improving the water supply conditions, partially upgrading the life quality for rural people, ensuring all communal schools and health clinics have water supply facilities and sanitation.
On the Sanitation project in rural areas, the hope is to support and encourage citizens in investing in constructing household restrooms.
How are you trying to mobilise social resources to invest in water supply facilities?
In the period of 2016-20, besides calling for investment of international organisations, the programme will mobilise maximum resources from society to participate.
Many policies will be promulgated to ensure effective socialisation, luring every economic sector to invest, co-operating with non-governmental organisations to develop full-chain water supply and sanitation services for households, paving the way for small enterprises to take part in this chain. — VNS