HA NOI (VNS)— A shortage of clean water has hit residents in many of Ha Noi's suburban districts, leaving them no choice but to spend over the odds on water or resort to using stagnant pond water.
In Thanh Oai District, residents in the communes of Tam Hung, Thanh Thuy and Xuan Duong have lost all access to tap-water.
Resident Luong Thanh Thuy told Gia dinh&Xa hoi (Family&Society) newspaper: "We have three sources of water, including drilled wells, rain water and pond water, but recently water in wells and ponds has reduced, so we do not know where we will get our water during the summer."
Thuy admitted that the water in the drilled wells has never been tested by specialist agencies.
Chairman of Tam Hung People's Committee Le Quang Phuc said a water supply station was built in the commune in 2005, but a pipe breakdown occurred after only four months and has yet to be repaired.
The committee called for residents to set up a repair fund, but nothing happened quickly and the damage kept worsening.
At present, some hundreds of millions of dong are needed to make the station operational again, but locals have not been able to find a source for this fund.
The water shortage is even more serious in Thach That District's Chang Son Commune.
Out of more than 2,100 households, two thirds are reliant on buying their clean water from street sellers.
Dinh Van Tien, a local resident, said that their main source of water used to be from wells, but recently the water has all dried up, even when they have drilled wells five metres in depth.
The work of clean water sellers is the most lucrative in the commune, with water selling at VND100,000 (US$4.7) per cubic metre.
"We do not know whether the water we are sold reaches regulated standards, but we buy it if it is pure, odourless and colourless," said Tien.
Chairman of the Chang Son People's Committee Phi Dinh Hung said water shortages first started afflicting the commune 10 years ago and have become more and more serious.
He cited the rise in population as one reason that water sources have been exhausted.
A project for the installation of a clean water pipe connecting Son Tay Town and neighbouring communes, including Chang Son, started in October 2006.
However work was temporarily halted to clear the way for construction of Highway 32, which took years to complete and damaged part of the still incomplete water system. — VNS