Vietnam: 50 Wells Built to Save Water
The villages of Kim Trung, Kim Son and Phat Diem are located in North Vietnam at about 150 km from the capital city, Hanoi. The place where these small villages are found takes its name from the salty land because the water present in the ponds and canals is characterized by the salty infiltrations of the sea. This characteristic of the land, besides provoking the lack of drinking water, impedes any form of cultivation. According to estimates, 2 out of 5 families in some rural areas do not have access to potable water.
Sanitary services lack equipment and qualified medical personnel and must be paid for, making them inaccessible for the poorest. AIDS is widely diffused and 16% of the population is infected. The peasants often use traditional farming technology that is not adapted to the land and the climate. Scarce rain and inadequate irrigation render working the land even more difficult. The sandy coast is hardly fertile and, because of flooding, each year many families lose the land. Aggravating this condition, there is the heritage of the war with the States. During the 15 years of conflict with the USA, 70% of the northern villages were destroyed and 10 million hectares of land were rendered impossible to cultivate due to the huge use of chemical and biological weapons.
Hygiene and education, medicine, seeds, and equipment were at one time goods and services supplied by the State. Now they are increasingly provided by the market, from which the poorest are excluded.
Because of this, since 2008 Vides has been involved in North Vietnam with a project that has achieved the construction of installations to gather water in the zones where potable water is scarce. Today, 50 wells have been built. Thanks to this project, the people now have clean water, a precious gift, necessary for safeguarding health and for cultivating the land.
One of the principle objectives thought of by the FMA and sustained by our Volunteer Association was that of building wells in such a way as to guarantee the whole population the possibility of collecting water more easily.