04 July 20 Vietnamplus Souce BÌNH ĐỊNH — Thousands of households in central Bình Định Province's Mỹ Chánh Commune have been living without tap water for years and must buy clean water for daily use.Meanwhile, a water plant worth VNĐ12 billion (US$520,580), which was supposed to supply water for 3,300 households in four villages in the commune, has been left abandoned.
The Mỹ Chánh water plant was built in 2004 to supply clean water for residents in An Xuyên 1, An Xuyên 2, An Xuyên 3 villages in Mỹ Chánh Commune and An Mỹ Village in Mỹ Cát Commune. The plant was designed with a capacity of 900 cubic metres per day.
However, the plant only operated for one year after it was put into operation in 2005. A shortage of groundwater from La Tinh River has been blamed for the long operation suspension.
As a result, local residents have to buy cans of clean water from neighbouring areas for daily use.
Trương Thị Vân, a resident in An Xuyên 3 Village, told baophapluat.vn online newspaper that she had to drive her motorbike to buy clean water in the neighbouring area four times per day. Each time she carried five cans of water.
"Each can contains 20 litres and costs VNĐ1,000-1,500 (US$0.04-0.06). The cost is quite expensive, but I have no choice," she said.
Đinh Văn Não, another resident in the village, said he usually woke up early or waited until late evening to go buy water so that he wouldn't spend much time waiting in a long queue.
Lại Văn A, resident in An Xuyên 1 Village said he, as well as other residents, had to dig a well to get more water.
However, they couldn't rely on a well during the dry season and when they tried to dig deeper wells, saline intrusion made the water unusable.
Chairman of Mỹ Chánh Commune's People's Committee Phạm Thái Bình said more than 85 per cent of households, mostly in An Xuyên 1, An Xuyên 2 and An Xuyên 3 villages were facing a serious shortage of tap water.
Water became scarce from March to October and became severe in June and September.
The three villages were located near Đề Gi Lagoon and the water source was easily impacted by saline intrusion.
To solve the problem, Phù Mỹ District's People's Committee has approved spending VNĐ39 billion ($1.6 million) to upgrade the water plant.
The plant will get groundwater from Cây Ké Dam in Cát Tài Commune for treatment before supplying it to local households.
The current water pipelines would be replaced by new ones to ensure the water supply, he said.
The work is scheduled to be completed in the next year.
The provincial People's Committee has proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment provide VNĐ205 billion ($8.8 million) to avoid drought and provide enough water for 1,425ha of crop fields and 64,200 households in the province. — VNS