US$ 2.8 billion Vietnam water programme

By Chris Sleight22 February 2011

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing US$ 1 billion to a US$ 2.8 billion programme in Vietnam to provide piped potable water to 3 million households. The remainder of the funds will come from the government, water companies and other financiers.

The programme will focus on improving water infrastructure in some of the country's largest cities through the installation of new pipelines and the repair and extension of existing networks.

According to the ADB, 40% of households in large Vietnamese cities are not connected to a mains water supplies, and only a third of smaller towns have access to piped water. The poor state of the networks that are in place means that between 30% to 40% of water is lost to leaks before it reaches the consumer, and low water pressures mean service is intermittent.

ADB country director for Vietnam, Ayumi Konishi said, "When four out of every ten litres of water is lost before it comes out of the tap, this is essentially pouring cash down the drain. Making an upfront investment to plug the leaks gives consumers a more dependable water supply, enhances public health, and provides water companies with significant cost savings."

One of the first projects in the programme is a US$ 138 million scheme in Ho Chi Minh City to connect some of the city's poorest areas to the water supply.

The overall aim of the programme is to achieve 90% piped water coverage by 2020, with universal coverage by 2025. A further goal is to reduce water loss in urban areas to less than 20% by 2020, bringing Viet Nam's cities in line with affluent Asian cities such as Seoul, South Korea.

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