|NIOEH's director, Dr. Doan Ngoc Hai, presents analyses of water quality in polluted areas across the country at the signing ceremony on Thursday. — Photo courtesy of Karofi Vietnam
HA NOI (VNS) — As many as 75 million litres of fresh water will be delivered to people living in areas where sources of water are seriously polluted.
Under the programme, Devotion for Viet Nam's Future, signed today by the health ministry's National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health (NIOEH) and Karofi Viet Nam, 350 water purifiers will be installed for free to help purify the water in about 20 villages across the country, especially the northern provinces.
According to NIOEH's director, Dr. Doan Ngoc Hai, surveys into the practical needs of local people show that the construction of concentrated water supply systems in many rural areas was infeasible, particularly in communities that faced a critical shortage of clean water in large areas whilst people followed scattered settlements.
"If the construction of concentrated water plants does not help, the installation of household water purifiers is an ideal option," Hai said.
"We are co-operating with Karofi to ensure that the facilities are of good quality. We are availing this opportunity to supply underprivileged people and those living in remote and mountainous areas with access to fresh water," he said.
In addition, the VND4.3 billion (US$200,000)-programme will examine the health of locals, popularise the necessity of using quality water as well as the impacts of polluted water on people's health in one or two villages among those that suffer from severe water contamination.
|A National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health staff is taking a water sample for test at Dong Lo Commune. It is the first commune to receive 55 water purifiers from the programme to provide pure water to people living in polluted areas. — Photo http://nioeh.org.vn
Dong Lo Commune, in the Ha Noi's outskirt district of Ung Hoa, is the first location granted 55 water purifiers during the signing ceremony in Ha Noi. One of the villages in the nation is suspected to have a large number of cancer patients thanks to the contaminated water.
Dong Lo Commune is home to 1,200 households from six villages, of which Thong Nhat and Thon Manh Tan lie on the bank of Nhue River and are often affected by river pollution when the river runs dry. The villagers use rainwater and well water contained in water tanks as the main source of water for daily use, Hai said following his field trip to the locality last Wednesday.
"As an enterprise that is committed to performing its corporate responsibility, we want all Vietnamese to have safe water for daily use," General Director of Karofi Vietnam Tran Trung Dung said.
Dung said the five-year programme also aimed to raise public awareness about the use of fresh water to protect health and the economical use of natural resources to protect the environment in general and water source in particular.
Studies, inspections and analyses by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on 323,000 samples taken from nearly 7,000 communes in all localities nation-wide, reveal that 12.5 per cent of samples show the arsenic content in water is from 0.05mg per litre.
According to the World Health Organisation, the permitted arsenic limit in one litre of drinking water is 0.01mg per litre, and 0.02mg of arsenic per litre of water is enough to cause endocrine disorders in users. — VNS