During the dry season, which normally lasts from late November to late April, Go Cong Town, Tien Giang province, Vietnam, is usually hit by drought and saltwater intrusion into local groundwater. This not only destroy the local rice fields but also cause many families to lose access to clean water. For years, many vulnerable families in the town struggled with these challenges, but were still unable to afford a tank to store fresh water for the season. Using water in the most economical and reasonable way, and proactively storing fresh water, are the most critical ways to adapt and response to Mekong Delta’s yearly drought and saltwater intrusion.
With support from Techtronic Industries (TTI), Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and the People’s Committee of Go Cong Town, Tien Giang province, implemented the project “Safer and Cleaner Communities for a Healthier Life,” on May 6-7, 2021, to support vulnerable families in Go Cong Town in proactively responding to the drought and saltwater intrusion season. The project also addressed other severe weather events and also public health issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for families who live in remote areas and have limited to access to proper water, sanitation, and hygiene, whether through programs or housing financial services that could support them.
Habitat Vietnam and TTI supported families through:
- Distribution of 31 water tanks (2000L) to poor and near-poor households in four communes in Go Cong Town, Tien Giang province: Tan Trung, Long Chanh, Binh Xuan and Binh Dong, allowing them to save fresh water to cope with the upcoming dry season.
Ms. Phuong, a resident in Tan Trung commune said “I’m battling cancer, so the financial burden of the whole family relies heavily upon my husband. The last drought season never seemed to end. We couldn’t afford clean water because most of money was spent in medication and treatment, and we didn’t have clean water to drink for several days. Seeing this, my sister compassionately gave my family some money to buy water for consumption during the drought. My family only had a small 100L bottle, which was not enough to store enough rainwater to last for the whole season. But with a 2,000L water tank, I believe it will be enough to store clean water for our whole family to use, and we can face the next drought more easily.”
- Conducted trainings on housing construction, home maintenance, WASH, and COVID-19 prevention for 74 households and 10 local authorities in six communes in Tan Trung, Binh Xuan, Binh Dong, Long Hung, Long Hoa and Long Chanh. The trainings have equipped households with knowledge about house maintenance and using construction materials that do not contain asbestos. It especially enable community members to strengthen their awareness and practices on hygiene behaviours, such as drinking boiled water, not throwing rubbish in canals, using hygienic toilets and washing hands properly with soap.