First Community Water Enterprise pilot in Vietnam offers new hope for a community in one of poorest provinces in the Mekong Delta

The provinces of Tra Vinh remains one of the poorest in the Mekong Delta, with a high concentration of ethnic minority people (Kh’mer) residing in the area. Living conditions are made even more challenging with water sources in the coastal province severely affected by salinity and alkalinity problems, due to the rising sea levels. Unfortunately, many are unable to afford commercially-bottled water and risk their lives daily by drinking from unsafe water sources.

Consuming from unsafe water sources daily affects health, with poor people further burdened with rising costs to pay for healthcare and treatment.

Earlier this month, Lien AID initiated the construction of the first pilots of its Community Water Enterprise in Vietnam’s Da Loc Commune in Tra Vinh Province, in an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by the officials from the Vietnamese government, including the Director of PCERWASS, Mr. Bui Van Mung.

Lien AID’s first community water enterprise was launched in 2010 in Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang Province. Three years later, it continues to provide a sustainable and affordable source of clean drinking water for the 1,000 people in the floating community on the Ton Le Sap. Since then, Lien AID has completed 16 community water enterprises in two Cambodian provinces.

Now with the expansion of the programme to Vietnam, Lien AID intends to provide a sustainable and affordable source of clean drinking water for the poorer rural communities there.

These pilots are a joint collaborative effort between Lien AID and the local government. “PCERWASS (Provincial Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation) has collaborated closely with Lien AID and NCERWASS (National Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation) throughout the project development processes and highly support the intervention to pilot the two community water enterprises in Da Loc Commune,” stated Mr. Bui.

15, 134 people across 8 villages in Da Loc Commune are expected to benefit from the development of two community water enterprises.