A training workshop on the national target programme of rural water supply and sanitation for the 2012-2015 period was held in Hanoi on January 28. Its aim was to introduce changes in the management and implementation of the programme.

The workshop, jointly organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), is expected to provide localities with guidelines on the programme’s implementation to increase efficiency.

Vu Van Thang, deputy head of the Irrigation Department under MARD, said in 2013, the programme will focus on promoting internal strengths and choose the appropriate rural water supply and sanitation models.

It will help complete mechanisms and policies to develop rural water supply and sanitation services in line with the Government’s direction, he said.

Thang emphasised that the Government will create favourable conditions to give poor households and organisations access to preferential loans to build and upgrade water supply and sanitation works. At the same time, poor areas and households will receive partial assistance.

Mark Palo, Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam , affirmed that sponsors will support the programme in the future. However, in 2013, the programme will prioritise sanitation and personal hygiene targets and concentrate on maintaining water supply.

Participants at the workshop were also introduced to a joint circular to instruct the programme’s management and use of State budget in the 2012-2015 period.-VNA