WB Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione speaks at the workshop (Photo: World Bank)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the World Bank (WB) co-hosted a workshop in Hanoi on May 30 to announce the results of the WB’s study entitled “Vietnam: Toward a safe, clean and resilient water system”.

Speaking at the workshop, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said Vietnam is among the hardest-hit countries by climate change. Water resources may decline in the dry season, resulting in prolonged droughts and saline intrusion in many areas, he said.

The lack of resilience to natural disasters poses a huge challenge to the country’s efforts to ensure water sources, food security, and sustainable development. Under pressure from the population’s growth, economic development and increasing water demand, Vietnam’s water resources may run out, he noted. 

According to the WB’s study, pollution may reduce Vietnam’s gross domestic product by 3.5 percent annually by 2035. Meanwhile, only 46 percent of urban households have connections to drainage systems and only 12.5 percent of municipal wastewater is treated.

WB Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione said unless decisive steps are taken, water will become a brake on Vietnam’s development, adding that recommendations in the WB report aim to enhance capacity for the country’s water management agencies.

The report also supports efficient use of water, response to natural disasters, and resilience during floods and erosion amid of sea level rise and surface depression, he stated.

The WB official said there is scope to improve financial resource allocation, to bring in more private financing, and to align incentives more closely with tightening the regulation on pollution.

In response, Ha affirmed that the report’s recommendations will be regarded as valuable documents to review and amend legal frameworks and promote activities in water management, thereby ensuring effective and sustainable use of water resources in Vietnam.-VNA