After years suffering from water shortages, local people in Dong Van stone plateau in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang finally have access to fresh water.

The scarcity of water in Dong Van prevented people there from escaping from poverty. To help local people, the government built several reservoirs in the mountains to store water in the rainy season. However, the small amount of water could meet only part of the local demand.

In the dry season, these lakes were nearly empty, forcing people to travel dozens of kilometres to gather enough water merely to cook.

After some years of research, the National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Investigation under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment found 23 places containing underground water with a capacity of more than 9,000 cubic m/day.

The source is able to provide water for 100,000 people per day.

Thanks to this, the first water supply station was built in the region in early 2013 and handed over to the local authorities in late last month.

The station is able to supply water to 10,000 local people with an average amount of 80 litres per head a day. Built at a cost of less than 100,000 USD, the work has proven useful to the residents there.

According to Hoang Xuan Thinh, Chairman of the Dong Van district People’s Committee, Dong Van is considered one of the regions with the highest rates of water scarcity. The construction of the station is very useful and meets the local people’s demand.

At the handing over ceremony, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thai Lai affirmed this was a breakthrough in building water supply stations for local people.

This is an effective model to ensure water supply for people during the dry season, he said.

The ministry will continue to build similar stations in the districts of Meo Vac, Quản Bạ and Yên Minh to ensure clean water supply to local people. This will contribute to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of ethnic minority people there.-VNA