|The buildings' management board must supervise the daily distribution of the underground well water to make sure everyone gets something. — Photo Vnexpress
HA NOI (VNS) — Two high-rise buildings in the Dich Vong Residential Quarter in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District have spent two weeks without clean water, affecting the lives of more than 300 households.
The two affected buildings, N09B1 and N09B2, house upwards of 1,200 people who now must resort to extreme measures to make it through the day, according to news website vnexpress.net.
The residents are among thousands of other Ha Noi residents who could face water shortages this summer.
Authorities have warned this could happen across the capital as demand might increase by seven to 10 per cent compared to last summer.
Reduction in groundwater resources could also contribute to the problem, the Ha Noi Water Supply Company has warned previously.
The Da River Water Supply Plant supplies about 40,000cu.m to 50,000cu.m per day to the city, but its water pipeline often breaks down.
The pipeline broke twice at the start of the year and its power was cut, affecting the water supply to Dong Da and Cau Giay districts.
Meanwhile, the implementation of projects to increase supplies from the River Hong (Red) and the River Duong has slowed because of lack of investment capital and land.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, 54, lives on N09B2's 20th floor, said that during the past two weeks, her family of three adults and two children had to eat out since they didn't have any clean water for cooking.
They had to buy water to wash in, but that became so untenable that they now bathe at their relatives' homes.
"My grand-children, two and four years old, have heat rash all over their bodies because they could not have regular bathe," said Thuy.
Households are forced to buy equipment like buckets and basins to reserve clean water, but the recent demand has made local vendors take advantage of the situation, extorting the residents with higher prices.
For instance, Thuy bought a 120-litre bucket last week at VND190,000 (US$9) but when she went back for another one it was VND220,000 ($10).
"We proposed that the building's management board pay for the extra measures. We received no reply. We know water shortage is a common problem in summer and we can bear it for a few days, but not weeks," she said.
Ho Thi Xuan, 67, said that she must decant water in an underground well every day.
"We don't dare go to the toilet at home since we don't have water to flush," she said.
Head of the residential group and representative for the two buildings' residents, Mai The Hong, said that the buildings' management board met with the Residential Quarter's management board, Tu Liem Urban Development Joint-stock Company, to discuss solutions.
"The company told us that it was the Cau Giay Water Plant's fault, but when we meet with the water plant, they said that they had supplied enough water," said Hong.
Hong reported the case to the Dich Vong Ward People's Committee, but the committee said they could only urge relevant bodies to take proper measures, he said.
On April 16, the buildings' management board bought 20 tanks of water and poured them into two underground wells for the residents to use gradually.
The water, costing VND21 million ($1,000), come from contributions by local households.
The buildings' management board must supervise the daily distribution of the underground well water to make sure everyone gets something.
To Thanh Tam, a representative of the N09B2 building's management board, said that water shortages have been happening since just after Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, but now it has gotten more serious.
The Cau Giay Water Plant said that the amount of water they supplied for the two buildings was the same as last year. The same amount of water, however, is not enough since the number of residents increased since last year. — VNS