Additional 2.3 million people likely to receive access to clean water

An additional 2.3 million people in the Red river delta will gain access to clean water thanks to a World Bank project launched in Ha Noi on Aug. 10.

The 140 million USD project will be carried out in two phases through to 2013 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Bank (WB).

The project will raise people's awareness of hygiene and health issues and will help to improve the community's capacity for building and managing its infrastructure.

The first phase of the project will be carried out to 2010 in 120 communes in Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Hai Duong and Thai Binh provinces, benefiting about 800,000 people.

This phase has an investment capital of 46.71 million USD, including 45.08 million USD in a loan from the WB, repayable over 20 years with a five year grace period.

The second phase, which will begin in 2008, will benefit 240 communes in Quang Ninh, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Ha Tay, Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa provinces.

As many as 93.42 million USD will be injected in the second phase and will benefit about 1.5 million people.

To date, 40 million people, the equivalent to 68 percent of the rural population, have accessed clean water since the implementation of the national programme o­n rural clean water and environmental sanitation throughout the country in 1999, according to Director of MARD's Rural Clean Water and Sanitation Environment Centre Le Van Can.