:: Water Solidarity Program in Ninh Binh province (2003-2010)


> Improving socio-sanitary conditions of Ninh Binh province’s people

In 2003, EAST Vietnam carried out surveys in several provinces located in the Red River delta, in order to assess water and sanitation needs of people living in the delta. EAST Vietnam decided to support the efforts of Ninh Binh province, 100 km south of Hanoi, in terms of access to clean water.

Ninh Binh province is not very wide. It is divided into 3 geographical zones: a mountainous zone, a paddy fields zone and a coastal delta. The province is divided into 145 communes, where almost one million people live. Most of them are farmers. Indeed, 86% of the population lives in rural area and earns its living from agriculture and forestry. The average income per person per year is about 200 €. In rural area, the average income falls to 150 €. The poverty is more important in the mountains, where some ethnic minorities live. In 2003, the inhabitants of about 100 communes did not have access to clean water. People used to rely on self supply by private wells, rainwater collection tanks or surface water. Sanitary conditions were particularly worrying and sanitation equipments were very poor.

In November 2003, a cooperation agreement was signed with the People’s Committee of Ninh Binh province. This agreement officially launched a several-year program: “Programme Solidarité Eau”, PSE (Water Solidarity Program). PSE benefits not only to the inhabitants of several rural communes, but also to the provincial services in charge of rural development in general, and water supply and sanitation in particular.

More precisely, PSE aims at improving the socio-sanitary conditions of people living in several communes in Ninh Binh province, by providing access to a community piped water supply system. Advocacy on best health and hygiene practices among both children and adults ought to strengthen change behavior.

At a provincial level, PSE aims at strengthening the capacities of public authorities in terms of O&M (Operation and Maintenance) and of water quality, in order to ensure the perennity of water supply plants in the whole province.

One third of PSE is financed by beneficiaries themselves, who pay for their individual connection to the piped water supply system. One other third is financed by Ninh Binh province (public finance). The last third is sponsored by French public water unions. EAST Vietnam implements the program, in collaboration with the provincial Department for Rural Development, and coordinates every stakeholder at every level: province, district, commune and village.


> Supplying Ninh Vân commune and Chi Phong village with water (2004-2006)
The first beneficiaries of the program in Ninh Binh province were Ninh Vân commune and Chi Phong village (Truong Yen commune), both located in Hoa Lu district.The projects in Ninh Vân and Chi Phong started in 2004 and were completed early 2006. In Chi Phong village, a water supply plant and a water pipeline system were built, supplying clean water to 1,330 people. The project in Ninh Vân enabled the construction of a water production plant and of a water pipeline system, providing about 10,000 people with clean water.

Throughout both projects, local mediators implemented IEC (Information Communication Education) activities in villages. These activities had a positive impact on connection rates. In Ninh Vân for instance, although connection to the water pipeline represents an important investment to most families, almost 80% of people paid their connection in the first month of operating. Besides, a sanitary survey was launched in Ninh Vân in 2007, one year after the end of the project, in order to assess the influence of health and sanitation IEC activities on purchasing showers and latrines with septic tanks.


Water outlet - Water supply plant - Some technical equipments in Ninh Vân
Chi Phong: Construction of the water supply plant - Maintenance of the plant - Laying the pipeline

> Supplying Yên Mac and Phu Lôc communes with water (2005-2007)
In 2005, EAST Vietnam and the People’s Committee of Ninh Binh selected two other beneficiary communes: Yên Mac, 8,000 inhabitants, located in Yen Mo district, and Phu Lôc, 7,000 inhabitants, located in Nho Quan district. The two new water supply plants were inaugurated in 2007, to the great joy of both communes’ people. Pupils of primary schools in Yên Mac and Phu Lôc could attend health education lessons throughout the school year. Indeed, EAST Vietnam provided primary schools with an educational learning method, which aims at teaching basic health and hygiene good practices. Both teachers and pupils particularly appreciate this very interactive method. Moreover, many IEC activities were organized throughout the year in both communes, in order to ensure the involvement of the community.


 Setting up electric posts in Phu Lôc - Chemicals in Yên Mac – Construction of the plant in Phu Lôc
Yên Mac and Phu Lôc water supply plants - One individual water meter
> Supplying Lang Phong commune with water (2006-2008)

Supplying Lang Phong commune with water (2006-2008)

In 2006, a fourth commune was selected: Lang Phong, in Nho Quan district. The project supplied clean water to homes of 5,000 inhabitants. Fifteen local mediators were trained in January 2007, subsequently information sessions were held and IEC personalized activities in households, in order to get people involved in the project. Moreover, pupils of Lang Phong primary school attended health education lessons at school.

Training IEC local mediators in Lang Phong
A health education lesson in Lang Phong primary school

> Supplying Gia Phu commune with water (2007-2010)
Gia phu is the last beneficiary commune of the program in Ninh Binh Province. This commune is part of Gia Vien district. The water facility was got underway on February the 2nd, 2010. Today, it supplies 6500 inhabitants, or more than 1500 families.

Throughout the duration of the project, an important part of IEC activities was informing the residents in the three villages of Gia Phu. Thirteen facilitators were trained to achieve this. The IEC activities carried out in Gia Phu created sustainable change.

The program also encourages inhabitants to get new latrines, bathrooms and paddocks for the animals. Ten hygienic latrines have been installed in each of the Gia Phu villages. This new equipment had to incite families to get best hygienic latrines.

In Gia Phu commune, sanitary blocs and water supply points have been put into service in the primary and secondary schools. Furthermore, sanitary education classes have been implemented to improve hygienic practices and childrens’ health. These classes are centered on latrine use, hand washing with soap, and garbage collection.
Gia Phu Commune, school and water system
> Monitoring water quality at a provincial level
In 2004, during the first year of the program, EAST Vietnam contributed to the establishment of a laboratory for water analysis, in the premises of the department in charge of water supply and sanitation in Ninh Binh province: the Department for Rural Development. This laboratory aims at monitoring the quality of water produced in Ninh Binh province. It has been working for three years now. 4 laboratory assistants carry out frequent analysis campaigns to control the quality of water produced in the 52 water supply plants of the province. The assistants are also in charge of forwarding analysis results to the communes. EAST Vietnam supports closely the Department for Rural Development in its communication and advice methods: EAST encourages the Department to warn and advise the communes every time their results do not meet the norms. The issue of water quality, and more precisely drinking water quality, is very important to EAST. EAST keeps advocating for quality at every cooperation level (province, communes, and consumers). Quality is indeed one of the top challenges Vietnam will have to face in the coming years.
Monitoring the quality of water produced in Ninh Binh province