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To review the Program’s progress and directions will be made timely for 2007 AWP implementation, 2008 AWP and mid-term plan for 2008-2010 preparation for the NTP II.

On 12/9/2007 at MARD, RWSS NTP II (2006-2010) Steering Committee’s Second Meeting was organized and chaired by Minister Cao Duc Phat, Chairman of NTP Steering Committee to review the Program’s progress and directions will be made timely for 2007 AWP implementation, 2008 AWP and mid-term plan for 2008-2010 preparation for the NTP II.

Attending the meeting were members of NTP II Steering Committee, representatives from RWSSP, main NTP II donors (Danida, Neitherlands, Ausaid) and adviser.

At the meeting, Head of NTP II standing office presented reports on the program’s activities. Then, suggestions were contributed by representatives from NTP II’s Steering Commitee members, donors and RWSS Partnership Coordination Unit.

By the end of the meeting, the minister – chairman of NTP II’s Steering Committee concluded the meeting with emphasis on:
- Focus on direction for practical implementation: organize meetings with provincial people’s committees, ministries/departments for implementation;
- Organize inter-miniterial monitoring missions (3 missions from 3 ministries MARD, MoH, MoET).
- NTP II Standing Office prepare a format for reporting.
- Prepare 2008 work plan with agreed priorities, budget should be prioritized for sanitation.
- The minister highly appreciated donor’s support to the NTP II.

 
Progress of RWSS NTP II Implementation NTP II Standing Office (SO) was established by Decisions 340/QĐ-BNN-TCCB on 5/2/2007 and 1464 /QĐ-BNN-TCCB on 24/5/2007, based at Water Resource Department. The SO directly supporting personnel includes 9 full-time staff, 1 national adviser and 1 international adviser, dividing into 3 groups on (i) planning and policy, (ii) M&E, science - technology and international cooperation, (iii) administration and communication. Nội dung chi tiết.
 
On 11/7/2007, the Gov. issued Degree No. 117/2007/ND-CP on domestic drinking water production, provision and consumptionOn 11/7/2007, the Gov. issued Degree No. 117/2007/ND-CP on domestic drinking water production, provision and consumption. The degree includes 9 chapters and 66 articles regulating rights and responsibilities of organizations, individuals and households carrying out activities relating to domestic drinking water production, provision and consumption by piped schemes in urban, rural areas and industrial, processing, hi-tech, economics zones all over Vietnam.

Besides, the degree also regulates concretely responsibilities of Ministries and provincial peoples committees in state management on water supply. Accordingly Ministry of Construction is responsible for water supply for urban and industrial zones nationwide, MARD responsible for
 
IMPROVING ACCESS to clean water and sanitation are crucial in enabling Asia to achieve sustainable economic prosperity and effectively eradicate poverty

IMPROVING ACCESS to clean water and sanitation are crucial in enabling Asia to achieve sustainable economic prosperity and effectively eradicate poverty, Asian Development Bank Vice President Liqun Jin said during his speech before participants of the steering committee preparing for the first Asia Pacific Water Summit scheduled in December.

“Last year, ADB commissioned an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to assess the development prospects of the Asia and Pacific region and provide recommendations on its course of actions,” said Mr. Jin in his remarks before the second steering committee meeting held in Tokyo. “The EPG report concludes that by 2020, Asia will be dramatically transformed, free of pervasive extreme poverty, with 90 percent of the continent’s people living in “middle income” countries, and a regional economy comprising 45 percent of global GDP and 35 percent of world trade.”

“Achieving this vision, however, will require concerted efforts by the stakeholders, including its Governments, its civil societies, and all development partners,” Mr. Jin said. “We in ADB will do our best. And such a vision simply cannot be achieved if the region’s massive needs for clean water, improved sanitation and sustainable water resource management are not met.”

Asia faces the biggest challenge in the world in the access to drinking water. Between 2002 and 2004, an additional 117 million were served in the region, but the progress has been insignificant, and the gap is still considerable. The coverage moved up from 80.9% in 2002 to 81.1% in 2004. However, another 635 million remain unserved.

The region is also saddled with a serious problem in access to sanitation. Between 2002 and 2004, an additional 117 million were served, but progress has also been modest and the gap remains huge. The coverage moved up from 42.8% in 2002 to 44.7% in 2004. A total of 1.86 billion remain unserved.

Mr. Jin said that water financing and capacity development is a high priority for ADB, and the Bank is pleased to be the lead agency for this area through the Asia Pacific Water Forum.

At the fourth World Water Forum in Mexico in 2006, water ministers from the Asia Pacific sought the establishment of a new network that will address water challenges in the region. Several development agencies supported the proposal and the Asia Pacific Water Forum was officially launched at the conference on ADBs Water Financing Program last year.

The Asia Pacific Water Forum is working to increase the region’s access to improved water supplies and sanitation, protect and restore river basins and reduce people’s vulnerability to water disasters. Its initial task is to organize an Asia Pacific Water Summit, which will be held in Oita Prefecture, Japan. It will focus on measures that will ensure the effective delivery of adequate and safe water supply to critical areas in the region.

Mr. Jin said the ADB supports the vision of making the Asia Pacific Water Summit an action-oriented meeting that will help the region achieve the Millennium Development Goal and Target on water in the region, which is essentially to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation by 2015.

As a key supporter of the Asia Pacific Water Forum, ADB recently approved a $1 million grant to support the Water Summit and other forum activities.

ADB also launched a Water Financing Program 2006-2010, which aims to double the Bank’s water investments over the next five years. “We have adopted specific outcome targets for these investments, one of which is to improve water services for 200 million people in urban and rural areas,” said Mr. Jin.

A Water Financing Partnership Facility was also set by ADB to provide grants for investment projects, technical assistance operations, knowledge management, and regional cooperation. Initial contributions to the facility are targeted at $100 million by 2008.

 
The study seeks for the overview on the existing situation on women’s participation in decision making in their respective households, their involvement in the communities, women’s burden in carrying water and managing waste and behavior change in water and sanitation.

 
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From 21 May to 8 June: the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water Improvement Project (SHWIP), supported under the Vietnam-Australia Non-Governmental Organization Cooperation Agreement (VANGOCA) and undertaken by Plan in Vietnam, launched a baseline study on gender equality and behavior change in eight communes in Quang Ngai Province. This serves as the baseline to measure the project achievements when the project closes in next four years and a half.
SHWIP was agreed by Quang Ngai Province in July 2005 to operate in 16 communes in the province for five years with total funding of 1,170,000 USD by AusAID aiming to the improvement of health and the enhancement of gender equality.
A three-week baseline survey is conducted by the Project team in consultation with Plan in Australia consultant on gender and behavior change and cooperation from 23 Women Union members in eight communes ranked poor in three districts of Tu Nghia, Nghia Hanh and Son Tinh on more than 1,130 households, accounting ten percents of total households in the communes.
The study seeks for the overview on the existing situation on women’s participation in decision making in their respective households, their involvement in the communities, women’s burden in carrying water and managing waste and behavior change in water and sanitation.
For important matters in the households, about 60% of women join in discussion and make decisions jointly. It is clear that roles of women have been improved and their voices have become stronger recently but there still exists the traditional perception, unfortunately self-esteem by women themselves, that men have better understanding than women and decisions made by women are often incorrect.
Most female respondents, 816 out of 1130 households, accounting for 72%, said women in general are active in community decision making while 50% of the respondents attend between one to five meetings a year. Many of women see no barriers to joining in community decision making but in fact, up to 78% of interviewees join in Women Union while they are significantly absent from community leadership organizations as Commune People’s Committee, being 0.5% only.
It is noticeable that 91% women have overwhelming responsibility to collect water for the household, excluding 8% girls under 18 sharing the burden. The situation is worse in Hanh Thien, Nghia Tho, Tinh Tho where the water sources are scarce or contaminated with carbon dioxide and women have to travel a long distance to access clean water for drinking. Nearly 39% of the respondents spend up to 90 minutes a day for carrying water and 32% spend another similar time for managing household waste. So, their half a day is just for water and sanitation activities.
Despite high level of commitment to providing water, 78% of the surveyed households, only 39% have latrines. This figure is particularly low in some communes as Nghia Tho where no household interviewed has any latrine or only 11.5% in Tinh Tho. Of all eight communes surveyed, 18% of the households have no latrine, bathroom, well or water tank. Two of major reasons found are (i) financial conditions which prevent these farmers from realizing the improvement of water and sanitation facilities, and (2) awareness which leads them to give higher priority to other matters.
In the sharing workshop conducted just right after the study, enumerators from local women unions suggested and prioritized actions to the project for consideration. It is believed that with realistic assistance from the project, water and sanitation conditions will be improved leading to better health for people in remote areas; women’s burden then will be lessened and they will have more time to contribute to local development and benefit from the results.
It is reported that two other baseline studies on healthcare and institutional involvement will be carried out shortly during June.
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According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO), washing hands is the simplest, most classical and most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

At the launching ceremony of "Hand washing week" held by the Health Ministry on July 24, Vice Head of the Treatment Agency Tran Duc Muc said that only 13% of health workers in Vietnam washed their hands regularly and properly.

According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO), washing hands is the simplest, most classical and most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The Health Ministry of Vietnam in 1996 issued its hand washing procedure with seven steps, which are listed at all hospitals. However, none of the 300 health workers attending the launching ceremony could correctly list all seven steps. According to a surprise check of the HCM City-based Cho Ray Hospital and 77 health workers there, on the hands of hospital orderlies there were up to 481,273 bacteria, 275,110 bacteria on the hands of doctors and 126,857 on the hands of nurses on average. From now to the end of 2007, the Ministry of Health will implement a hand washing campaign among health workers, firstly at 13 hospitals and then expanding to all, to create good habits among them so that they can ensure good care for patients.

 

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