LAM DONG — About 550 local households in Central Highland Lam Dong Province's Di Linh District have been living without clean water for four years – despite the fact 19 wells have been dug by the local authority for residents' use.
However, the electricity supply to the electrical pumps for 11 of these wells is not working.
Ka Kanh, a female resident in the district's Tan Thuong Commune, said her family was forced to bring water from far away, even though they lived near one of the newly dug public wells.
However, she said residents had never been able to draw clean water from the well since it was finished in 2008.
Local residents said they had to dig their own wells, which are each about 20 metres deep. However, because they are relatively shallow, they often run out of water in the dry season, which falls between November and April in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands).
Four years ago, the district dug 19 public wells at a cost of VND800 million (US$38,400) each, under Government Programme 134.
Local residents do not have to pay to use the wells, though they have to pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of powering the pumps.
The wells, which are at least 100 metres deep, are managed by the district People's Committee.
The quality of the water in the wells has been tested and found to meet health and safety standards.
However, Le Viet Phu, vice chairman of the district People's Committee, said local residents had in some cases, refused to pay for the electricity to run the pumps, which in effect made the wells inoperable. In other cases, the local power supply was incompatible with that needed by the electrical pumps.
Phu added that the committee's staff, in co-operation with the electricity department, planned to upgrade local transformer stations to provide power for the wells' pumps.
The wells should be operational at the end of this quarter, he said. — VNS