2009 Vietnam: Evaluation of the Water Safety Model in IN THỪA THIÊN HUẾ
Author: Huỳnh Lê Tâm, Tống Đức Long. Institution: OCD. Partners: National Centre for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation
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Thừa Thiên Huế is a littoral province in the Middle of the Central part. The weather is restively harsh, divided into two differential seasons: dry and rainy. The rainy season often lasts for two to three months with flood going along, one severe per year on the average and 7 ones at the highest. In the dry season, the temperature is high and it rains quite a little, therefore drought drags on.
There are many rivers and springs with plentiful surface waters in this province. However, the hydrologic regime is not balanced, the formula flows are season-based and the downstream of the main river is penetrated with salted water.
The WSP project has been implemented at Loc Binh commune, Phu Loc district, and Thua Thien Hue province. Loc Binh is a bank sea-coast commune, including 6 hamlets: Hải Bình, Tân Bình, An Bình, and Tân An, Hòa An, Mai Gia Phường. Lộc Bình has ever been in the list of poor commune in the Programme 135 of the Government.
Before the project WSP in Loc Binh, the situation of water supply for domestic use and cooking is very difficult, usually in shortage, especially in the dry season. The water source for those purposes is mostly from the rainwater, from the drilled and self-dug wells of which the water is alum poisoning or salt infiltrating, and from the spring water that is not well-treated. The unhygienic water leads to common diseases related to water source, such as malaria in many persons, hepatitis and hematoma in some others, sore eyes among pupils, skin diseases and diarrhoea, and gynaecology diseases in 80% of the women.
WSP project has been implemented with the support from UNICEF and the National Centre for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation (NCERWASS) from the end of 2006. Its model has been developed according to the risk management method proposed by WHO. This is quite new in Thua Thien Hue, as well as other localities in Viet Nam. The plan of safe water supply includes system assessment, plan of monitoring and managing activities with community participation and monitor from the water source to the household.
After 2 years of implementation, the water safety model has brought positive results. Awareness of the local authority and the people there about hygienic water, quality of the water supply and people’s health has been highly improved while the number of diseases related to domestic water has been reduced significantly.
The aim of the evaluation on the model, its implementation and results gained is to draw out the factors contributing to the positive results, and the disadvantages which need improvement and adjustment so that the model can be expanded to the rural area in Viet Nam. Specifically, the objectives are:
1. To evaluate the model of the water safety plan in terms of its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impacts on the community and its sustainability.
2. To sum up the lessons learnt from the implementation for future expansion.
3. To recommend improvement and adjustment for better implementation in other rural areas.
- Documents on regulations for water supply and rural sanitary
- Relevant documents during development and implementation of the Water Safety Plan:
Handbook on water safety monitoring
Statistics at the medical aid station
Documents of relevant government offices
- Interview stakeholders of the WSP model: collect qualitative data during the process of project development and implementation.
In this project, the stakeholders are: UNICEF, NCERWASS, and Provincial Centre for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation of Thừa Thiên Huế (PCERWASS), Provincial Department for Provision Medicine and Health (PDPMEH), People’s Committee of Loc Binh, Management Team of domestic water, schools, and Medical Aid station in the commune, organizations and people living in Loc Binh.
-Interview the group of WSP in Loc Binh: collect parameters and activities before and during the implementation of the plan.
-Interview representatives of Loc Binh households and collect information through questionnaire from other 96 households in the locality.
Findings and Conclusions:
WSP’s approach is based largely upon HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) which has been used in the food manufacturing industry. In WSP, the principles applying in HACCP have been refined and tailored to the context of drinking-water. It is a preventive risk management system from water source selection, supply process, coordination among related agencies and community, improvement of stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of the clean water towards the inhabitants’ health.
Towards means of implementation, WSP has encouraged co-operation and information sharing among stakeholders from central to local level, assigned clearly responsibilities among each stakeholder. Among them, UNICEF and NCERWASS developed the model, PCERWASS and PDPMEH have given technical instruction and support; People’s Committee of the commune and the water supply team have been responsible for the implementation.
During the implementation process, WSP has been highly supported by the stakeholders. The key issue of WSP, community’s surveillance, have been reached based on the awareness of the importance of safety water to the inhabitants’ health. It will lead to a step by step improvement of water supplied quality.
After 2 year of implementation, the WSP has shown positive evidences of improvement of the inhabitants’ health proved by sharp decreases in number of case of waterborne diseases
The Water Safety Plan model executed in Loc Binh has been relevant with econo-social situation in the area, has solved the problem of hygienic water supply immediately, promoted better quality of water supplied.
The effectiveness in the WSP implementation is consistent with designed plan. Undertaken activities are based on the plan and WSP model has achieved positive results of improvement of water quality and people’s health.
For the efficiency, WSP model has encouraged the participation of all stakeholders from central to local levels and implemented on schedule and have positive long-term impact.
Although some shortcomings should be solved, but WSP model could show ability of being maintained and developed with the co-operation mechanism, the integration into frequent activities of the local area, the commitment of public authority and the community participation in the system.
Ability for expansion of the model to other rural areas
The WSP model has been affected by some specific local issues such as the natural and social advantages and the attitude of related parties toward the project in Loc Binh commune.
The approach of WSP model is a good choice and in accordance with the trend of managing drinking-water quality from catchment to consumer in the world. This approach could be also suitable for water supply in rural areas in Vietnam.
It is possible for replication and scaling up in others communes with some specific conditions.
• WSP has brought many positive changes in Loc Binh commune, however some activities should be continued and completed based on stages in the plan.
• For the next stage, the People’s Committee in Loc Binh commune, the commune health service and representatives from the hamlets should build detailed plans improving communication activities, sharing experiences, documenting the remained issues based on WSP’s stages.
• The functional bureaus such as PCERWASS and PDPMEH should jointly participate in the plan based on their own functions and guide related parties at local level to build detailed plans and seek for financial supports to expand WSP model into other communes in the province.
• At the central level, NCERWASS should propose to unify the organization in charge of water quality management and propose Rural Clean Water Supply and Sanitation in Vietnam program to set priority of promoting the WSP application.
• UNICEF should disseminate and share the results of the implementation of the Water Safety Plan model to related bureaus, organizations, and regions. And UNICEF compiles and popularizes summarized documents for communication and guides the WSP implementation process in detail. It is necessary to consider using related consultancy teams for running projects more efficiently and systematically.
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