|The Đăk Tô water plant sits abandoned while 1,000 households face clean water shortages.- Photo tienphong.vn|Viet Nam News
KON TUM — Over 1,000 households in Đăk Tô District, the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum have been living without clean water despite the construction of a Thailand company–managed water supply plant several years ago.
Ngô Văn Liêm, Deputy Director of Đắk Tô District People’s Committee, said that until June 2016 the plant was operated under Đăk Tô Clean Water Joint Stock Company, owned by the district People’s Committee.
On June 9, 2016 the Kon Tum Province People’s Committee decided to sell the plant to Thailand’s Utility Water Company at a cost of VNĐ12 billion (US$514,200).
According to the contract, the Thai company committed to investing more than VNĐ100 billion ($4.3 million) in upgrading infrastructure and increasing the plant’s capacity to 10,000 cu.m per day. Construction was expected to last from 2016 to the end of 2018.
After nearly three years, the company has only succeeded in constructing a road linking the town with the plant and dredging the mud in the tanks. Then it deserted the plant, causing a clean water shortage in the district.
Over the last year grasses have grown around the area. The tanks are sandy and mossy, and filled with empty bottles of pesticide and herbicides.
According to a plant staff member who spoke to Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper on the condition of anonymity, seven employees who were responsible for managing and operating the facility have not received any pay since September 2017.
Đăk Tô District People’s Committee asked representatives of the managing company to attend a discussion to resolve the legal procedures, but the company has yet to respond. — VNS