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Half of rural population lacks access to clean water

Update: July, 25/2014 - 09:49

HA NOI (VNS) — By the end of June, 84 per cent of the rural population was using water from water plants, but only half of them had access to clean water that satisfied Ministry of Health criteria, Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang said at an online conference yesterday.

The Government set out to provide clean water to 85 per cent of rural people by 2015 under a national programme. However, many areas lacked effective water supply master plans and local authorities were not managing the situation adequately, according to Thang.

About 40 communes and 30 schools in northern Hai Duong Province lacked access to clean water, said Nguyen Anh Cuong, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee.

Explaining the situation, he cited the shortage of investment by "clean enterprises", a problem that has occurred nationwide.

Funds from private entrepreneurs and individuals account for only 7.2 per cent of the clean water programme's resources, below the original goal of 11.2 per cent.

Vice chairman of northern Thai Binh Province's People's Committee Pham Van Ca said that detailed plans on water infrastructure, in addition to preferential interest rates on loans and compensation for site clearance and construction, would attract more investors.

Thai Binh had attracted private enterprises to invest in supplying water for residents of all its communes, he added.

At the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked relevant ministries and sectors and local authorities to revise their policies to attract more investors, mentioning the Public-Private-Partnership model as one potentially effective method. — VNS

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