In 2010, none of the 11 schools in Quang Uyen, a mountainous area in northern Vietnam, had an adequate water supply. Students had to carry water to school, or go without.
With the help of members of the community, ChildFund constructed 3 new water systems that draw water from underground rivers and deliver the filtered water to several schools, a health clinic and 163 households. All of the schools now have water tanks so they can collect water during the rainy season, and water filters to ensure the water is safe and clean for children.
When the heavy rains do arrive, the rivers begin to swell, roads start to deteriorate, and landslides can occur. Everyone has enough water to drink and wash with during the rains, but people lack the ability to capture and store the water.
Now, with the newly constructed water systems, each of the 11 schools in the Quang Uyan area has enough water for all students. None of the schools have experienced water shortages, and students no longer have go without.
Before bringing clean water to households, 40% of the families in the area ran out of water during the dry season. Now, only 19% of families experience water shortages. Having water right outside the house means children can wash their hands regularly, have clean clothes and plenty of drinking water, and not have to walk long distances to collect water.
The community worked hard to help ChildFund complete the three water systems. People dug trenches for pipelines, purchased water metres to measure their consumption, and allowed piping to run across their land. Volunteers joined water management boards and were trained how to operate and maintain the water systems.
In addition to building new water systems, ChildFund helped raise awareness of the need to boil water to prevent children from getting sick from water-borne diseases. Now, close to 85% of adults boil their water , compared to 17% at the beginning of the project. This has resulted in fewer children being absent from school due to illness, and a reduction in cases of waterborne diseases reported by the local health centres.
This project was supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme. If you would like to find out more about ChildFund's work in Vietnam, please visit the Vietnam country page. You can help provide support to a community and a child in Vietnam by sponsoring a child.