A 6.28 million USD project to improve sanitation and hygiene in Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Binh Dinh and Ben Tre provinces commenced in Hanoi on January 16.

Backed by the Australian Government, the project will be implemented by the East Meets West Organisation (EMW) and the Ministry of Health's Vietnam Health Environment Management Agency.

It aims to improve sanitation and hygiene conditions by equipping disadvantaged rural communities with greater access to clean water and hygienic toilets, as well as behaviour-changing education, said EMW - Vietmam country director Nguyen Minh Chau.

The project will also focus on upgrading and expanding water pipelines to improve access and quality, while helping poor households build toilets in line with official health standards.

It will build 20,000 toilets, as well as upgrade and expand between 25 and 30 clean water pipelines, used by 150,000 people, by 2017.

The project will also provide host training sessions on the ongoing management and operation of water supply stations, as well as on sanitation, good hygiene practices, and proper maintenance of newly built toilets.-VNA