SON LA (VNS)— A big well once provided water for all households in northern Son La City's Chieng Ngan Commune. But it was filled when a road was built to connect the commune with the city in 2001 as part of the local socio-economic development plan.
Since then, nearly 90 households in this mountainous province have lived without a steady source of water.
Quang Van Duong, a resident of the commune, said that he and his neighbours tried many ways to get water from digging to drilling wells, but they found no luck.
"So we had to buy water for VND50,000-80,000 (US$2.5-4) per cubic metre," he said.
Many families who could not afford to purchase water began to drink rainwater.
Local residents say the People's Committee and contractor responsible for the road committed to building a new well when they filled in the old well. But no efforts have yet been made to that end.
Ngo Binh Duong could no longer operate his one hectare farm – once the biggest farm in the commune breeding livestock and poultry – due to the lack of water.
He paid VND100 million ($4,800) to hire people to dig a 30-metre deep well, but they found no water.
Deo Van Nghia, vice chairman of the commune People's Committee, said that it was hard to find water in the rocky, mountainous area.
The committee submitted a request to the city People's Committee for support to drill for water in 2007, he said. But they received no response.
The city's People Committee declined to comment. — VNS