|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
||The Government of Viet Nam is committed to improving access, quality, reliability and sustainability of water supply and sanitation services to residents in rural areas. In 2001, the Government issued a National Rural Clean Water Supply and Sanitation Strategy (NRWSS), which sets a target of supplying clean water supply to 85% of the rural population by 2010 and 100% by 2020. It also sets a target of 70% of rural households to use hygienic latrines and practice personal hygiene. In 1998, the Government also issued a Decision , which sets the National Target Program (NTP I) for Rural Clean Water Supply and Environmental Hygiene. The achievements and problems encountered during the implementation of NTP I were evaluated in 2005 in a Donor/Government Joint Sector Review Report, and a Review Report of its first 5 years of implementation prepared by MARD. Based on the results of these evaluations, the Government established the NTP II in March 2006, which lists the water supply and sanitation needs and targets for rural areas for rehabilitation, expansion, or development of facilities. The NTP II has guided sector development over the past two years, including investments funded by Government and by some development partners. It is expected that a review of NTP II implementation will be prepared during 2008. The NRWSS will also be updated in 2008 to reflect the Government?s increasing emphasis on sanitation and community participation. In recent years, Viet Nam has made significant progress in increasing access to clean and reliable water supply for its residents in rural areas. In 1998, only about 17 million of the rural population had access to clean water. Currently, approximately 40 million people or about 62% of the rural population has access to clean water supply, of which 30% of households are supplied with clean water as defined by the MOH standards . Upon completion of the NTP II in 2010, it is expected that about 85% of rural residents will have access to safe water, of which 50% (42.5% of total) will have access to clean water as defined by the MOH standards. However, many rural residents often rely on shallow wells, ponds and streams, which are often biologically contaminated. In some instances, women and children spend as much as 1?2 hours each day collecting water from distant sources. The operations and maintenance of RWSS needs to be improved, and community and private sector participation in management of facilities needs to be strengthened to improve sustainability.
The rural sanitation in Viet Nam follows a comparable trend. By the end of 2005, about 6.4 million rural households used hygienic latrines, compared with only 2.7 million in 1999. However, still about 50% of rural residents do not have proper toilet facilities and use open ground, fields, local drains, and watercourses for disposal of excreta and wastewater. In addition, only 17% or rural markets have access to public toilets and clean water, less than 70% of schools and kindergarten and only about 58% of commune health stations have proper latrines. Much effort is still required to increase awareness of the need for sanitation and the use of safe water in the rural areas, through the development of efficient IEC campaigns and the allocation of more resources for this purpose. Significant investments are required to improve the situation in the RWSS sector. The NTP II estimates that about 22,600,000 million VND ($1.4 billion) will be required for the period 2006-2010 with 3,400,000 ($210 million) to be financed by international development partners. Keeping all other factors constant, the effect of low coverage of safe water supplies and poor sanitation conditions can be seen in the frequency of water-related disease outbreaks (e.g., diarrheal diseases and/or cholera), severity of illness and subsequent death. Lack of clean water, inadequate sanitation and non-hygienic practices are main causes for disease and illness.