Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

Thai Nguyen (VNA) – The national week on rural clean water and environmental hygiene was launched on April 29 in Huong Thuong commune, Dong Hy district, northern Thai Nguyen province, by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD).

Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the MARD’s General Department of Irrigation, said that the annual event, annually launched by the Prime Minister from April 29-May 6, has spurred a line-up of activities to protect the environment and water resources for the community’s better health.

Tinh also highlighted that from the end of 2014, El Nino has heated up the country, causing critical drought and saline intrusion in south-central, Central Highlands and Mekong delta regions. Drought is forecast to spread to north-central provinces, affecting local livelihoods, he added.

Themed clean water and environmental sanitation in response to climate change, the event is organised to raise the public awareness of protecting the environment and saving water resources to reduce damage caused by climate change, Tinh stressed.

Meanwhile, Doan Van Tuan, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, underscored that thanks to the National Target Programme on Rural Clean Water and Environmental Hygiene, 85 percent of rural population in the province gained access to hygienic water while 65 percent of the rural households had sanitary toilets and breeding facilities by the end of 2015.

Practical activities will be held in the province during the week such as communication on fresh water, tree planting, street tidying up and construction of clean water supplying facilities.

On the occasion, a clean water supplying work valued at 11.7 billion VND (526,500 USD) was inaugurated in Huong Thuong commune. With a capacity of 400 cubic metres per day, the facility will ensure sufficient water for 900 residents as well as schools, clinics and offices in the locality.-VNA