Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Rural communities’ awareness of the importance of clean water, hygienic latrines and protecting the environment has been improved by the National Target Programme for Rural Clean Water and Sanitation in 2011-2015.

According to the coordination office of the National Target Programme of New-Style Rural Area Building, the total budget for the scheme was about 39.5 trillion VND (nearly 1.8 billion USD), with 61.6 percent of the figure coming from credit loans, 16.4 percent from international assistance, 9.1 percent from the national budget and the remaining 12.9 percent from local budget and the private sector.

Through communication campaigns, hygiene practices, especially in rural areas, have been changed, improving the rural environment.

The programme also called for the involvement of political and social organisations to improve the lives of rural people. Many private enterprises invested in building clean water projects in Ha Nam, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Thai Binh, Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap provinces.

About 85 percent of the rural population now has access to fresh water, about 65 percent of rural households have hygienic latrines and 94 percent of schools and 96 percent of medical clinics in rural areas have clean water supply facilities.

However, there were still shortcomings in the programme, which resulted from poor management from local authorities.

Underprivileged areas have little access to water and sanitation supply. Management and maintenance of water supply systems also remained ineffective.

During the implementation of the programme, policies did not draw enough investment from some economic sectors, including the private sector.-VNA