Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — While thousands of locals await clean water, a nearly-complete water supply project in central Quảng Trị Province has been delayed for over a year due to the lack of funding.
The project aims at providing clean water to over 1,700 households from Hải Lăng District’s Hải Chánh Commune and other houses in neibouring Hải Sơn Commune.
“We have been looking forward to accessing clean water supply for years. We used to carry cans of water from the river for daily activities,” Thảo, a local, told the Báo pháp luật Việt Nam (Việt Nam Law) newspaper.
“We were delighted on hearing that a water supply plant was being built, but it hasn’t finished even after many years”, she said, adding that residents had complained to competent agencies several times but no action had been taken.
Bùi Văn Sinh, deputy chairman of Hải Chánh Commune, said eight out of 11 villages were in need of clean water because the wells had either gone dry or were contaminated with alum.
Some 300 households in Mỹ Chánh Village often did not even have water for daily use for the past six months, he said.
Those who lived near Mỹ Chánh Market were forced to buy clean water from Thừa Thiên-Huế Province’s Phong Điền District and neighbouring communes to cook their meals, he said.
The newspaper reported that most of the infrastructure-related projects, such as the management room, pumping station and mud treatment storage tank, were complete. However, with the project suspended since March last year, some areas had got damaged by the weather.
Worse still, locals were using the plant as a place to breed cows.
The project was approved in 2010 and was expected to be completed in 2012. However, due to problems in capital allocation, construction of the Hả Chánh Water supply project, with total estimated capital of nearly VNĐ31 billion (US$1.36 million) started in mid-2014 and was due to finish by the end of the following year.
Of this capital, VNĐ19 billion ($835,000) was to come from the State budget, VNĐ3billion ($132,000) from the Quảng Trị Water Supply and Construction One Member Limited Company and the rest was funded by the Italian government.
Trần Quỳnh, deputy director of Quảng Trị Water Supply and Construction One Member Limited Company, the project’s investor, said in accordance with the signed contract, the Italian government was to support capital for purchasing water pipes and other equipments for the plant.
However, the Ministry of Finance has not yet allocated this sum of money for the province.
Meanwhile, just one third of the VNĐ22 billion investment ($966,000), or VNĐ7.5 billion ($330,000), has so far been disbursed, leading to suspension of the project, he said. — VNS