|Nguyễn Hoàng Hưng, a resident of Bạch Long Vỹ island district, takes clean water for domestic use. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Residents of Bạch Long Vỹ Island, located in the Gulf of Tonkin and part of the northern Vietnamese city of Hải Phòng, long looked upon their mainland counterparts with envy due to the latter's higher standards of living.
However, after three decades, the situation has changed.
Strategically positioned for both national defence and security as well as marine economic development, Bạch Long Vỹ Island is one of Việt Nam's most remote, situated approximately 110km from the mainland.
Acknowledging the island's importance, the Prime Minister signed a decision on November 18, 1992, to establish Bạch Long Vỹ District within Hải Phòng City.
At the time, the island had no civil infrastructure in place and all basic necessities were provided from the mainland.
Transportation to and from the island was extremely challenging.
Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People's Committee of Bạch Long Vỹ District, Trần Quang Tường, said that thanks to the support from the Government, island district authorities and people had overcome difficulties in building a developed island district.
Administrative areas, medical centres, schools, parks and residential areas have been built on the island, and a harbour was built to serve ships.
On the island, people have planted hundreds of hectares of forest.
Transportation between Bạch Long Vỹ Island and the mainland has been much more convenient, taking just over six hours by ship.
However, the most important change is that residents now have enough electricity and fresh water.
Today's island is a busy place; women gather in the morning for exercise and people eat breakfast at stalls on the street.
Everything from pork to cosmetics is available, but it wasn't always the case.
Nguyễn Hoàng Hưng, a resident of the island, said that in the past, fresh water was mainly taken from drilled wells or natural rainwater sources.
In the dry season, this supply would become scarce.
"The lack of water also made it difficult for fishermen to process and preserve seafood, greatly affecting the income of local families,” said Hưng.
“Since the clean water station came into operation, people have had enough water to meet all their needs.”
The 40,000sq.m water reservoir, with a capacity of 60,000cu.m, was completed in July 2020. The project was invested in by the Hải Phòng City’s Youth Volunteer Team.
In March 2022, Hải Phòng City’s clean water supply project was started, and in April 2022, Bạch Long Vỹ Island’s water supply station was inaugurated.
Phạm Văn Hiển, Head of the Operation Team of Bạch Long Vỹ Island’s water supply station, said that fresh water from the reservoir would be treated through his station to have quality water serving households and administrative agencies.
The electricity system on the island district was guaranteed to serve the needs of local people. The power source for daily life came from the Bạch Long Vỹ Island’s power supply project invested by the Northern Power Corporation.
Currently, there is one wind turbine and one solar power farm in operation, providing electricity for the island’s people.
The stable power supply was creating a driving force for the development of the marine economy and tourism activities, meeting the conditions for Bạch Long Vỹ Island to become a centre for seafood processing and search-and-rescue activities for the northern coastal provinces. —VNS