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Clean Water

December 2016/March 2017

We’ve fired up our clean water program again, and plan to continue it each year in future.

Availability of clean water is a serious problem in the area where we do most of our work.  The only source of water ready to drink is rain, and that only comes in monsoon season – May through November.  The other source of water is the canals and rivers, but they are not clean.  Chemicals are available to treat the water, but it still must be boiled for drinking.  Most of our recipients get their water this way.  Bottled water can be bought, but our recipients can’t afford it.

Storage of rainwater for the dry season is the best solution.  The problem is that poor people cannot afford storage containers.  Recently, high quality plastic storage containers have become available in large sizes and at reasonable prices.

Phuong negotiated a good price for 1000 liter tanks , about $65 each including delivery to town centers, and we bought and distributed 105 in four towns.  We checked out about half of the recipients one at a time, accompanied by town officials so they would know exactly what we were looking for, and relied on them for referrals for the rest. 

Taking a tank home

Water tanks are delivered by truck from Saigon

Water barrels being distributed.

January/February 2009

The 200 liter clay water storage jars that we purchase and distribute are very much appreciated as access to clean water is a problem in the dry season.  We gave two jars to each of 50 families in the town of Nhuan Phu Tan.  As usual, we ordered them from a factory in Saigon and had them delivered by boat.  The Peoples Committee in Nhuan Phu Tan paid for delivery from the dock to the recipients homes.  Our cost: $14.35 per family.

Water jugs arrive by boat.

August/September 2008

The price of the 200 liter clay water jars that we buy to store rain water has gone up about 50% since January. We had planned to give three jars to 120 families, but cut this back to two jars per family. The jars were ordered from the factory in Saigon, delivered by boat, and distributed by us to the families in Phuoc My Trung.

December 2007/January 2008

Clean water, Vietnam-style

We are continuing to use the 200 liter clay jars for clean (rain) water storage for the dry season.  They are readily available or can be ordered on fairly short notice, people are accustomed to using them and like them, and they are cheap ($5.00 apiece).

We bought 150 jars and distributed three each to 50 families, 20 in Hoa Loc and 30 in Phuoc My Trung.  All families were referred to us by the Peoples Committees in the two towns.

March/April 2007

Buying the water jars.

The clean water project has been a work in progress.  When we started it early last year we built 2500 liter concrete tanks for $53 each.  We are no longer able to do so as the price of cement and labor have increased.  Also, it is very difficult to arrange labor as they must move heave metal forms from site to site and will only agree to work if we can provide several sites close together.

We have decided to continue the project as there is a clear need for safe water in the dry season and have gone to the traditional storage method – earthenware jars.  Each jar holds about 200 liters and costs $75,000 Viet Nam Dong each - $4.69 at the current exchange rate.  The cost per liter is about the same as for the concrete tanks.

Ten families in Thanh Ngai got three jars each, ten families in Tan Phu Tay got 3 jars each and 15 families in Thanh An got 2 jars each.  All families were referred to us by the Peoples Committees in the three towns.   

January/February 2006

Mr. Thanh with his new water tank.

This is our newest project, and addresses the serious need of having clean and safe drinking water available in the dry season.  We built 2500 liter concrete tanks to collect rain water during the monsoon for eight families, four in Thanh An and four in Tan Phu Tay.  Our cost per tank was about $53.00.

For more information about this project, go to the dispatch section and read the February 22, 2006 letter.

Dick Wagner digital solutions