Lack of access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) remains a major challenge affecting children in rural Viet Nam. Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children, yet many in Viet Nam are still at risk from water and sanitation-related diseases.
Although the country has made rapid progress in improving water supplies, many parts of the country – especially areas heavily populated with ethnic minority groups and remote communities – have been left behind. This lack of access to water, along with poor sanitation and hygiene practices, still contributes to high rates of diarrhea, pneumonia and parasitic infections.
Open defecation is still commonly practiced in rural communities and coupled with the use of sub-standard latrines, more than 9.5 million people still release excreta into their surroundings - contaminating water sources. Low levels of handwashing with soap at key moments are still registered in poor households and for ethnic minority groups, while diarrhea is responsible for 10 per cent of under-5 child mortality.