World Environment Day: Reflecting on the Wastewater Sector in Vietnam

Created on 05 June 2014 Print Email

Today is the World Environment Day, a day that was chosen by the United Nations to encourage awareness and action for the environment. On this occasion, WMP summarises achievements and challenges in the wastewater sector in Vietnam for a better and healthier environment.

140605 World Environment Day 2014 - WMP picKid's painting to raise awareness about the benefits of wastewater treatment - Phi Thi Ngoc Minh

The wastewater sector in Vietnam has gone a long way in the last 15 years. According to the World Bank’s Urban Wastewater Review 2013, today 94% of Vietnamese people have access to toilets and 90% of households use septic tanks for on-site treatment of household waste. 60% of households today are connected to the public sewerage system, even though these often combine wastewater and rainwater in one single pipe.

These impressive achievements point to the way forward: Today, only 4% of the waste collected in septic tanks and only 10% of wastewater in the public sewerage system are actually treated. The lack of wastewater treatment is causing high environmental costs, lower land values, losses in the tourism industry and costs for water-borne diseases, the World Bank found in 2008. In 2010, a high official of MoNRE stated that up to 80% of the sicknesses suffered by people nationwide in Vietnam are caused by polluted water.

The GIZ WMP is supporting the Vietnamese government in tackling these challenges. The renovation of Vietnam’s policy framework, driven by the Ministry of Construction, is expected to majorly improve wastewater treatment in Vietnam. GIZ is also supporting nine provincial governments and wastewater companies in the North and the South of Vietnam. The programme has provided more than 100 trainings for wastewater company staff to date.

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