Participatory approach for contribution to improvement of safe water, nutrition and health environment in three rural communes in Vietnam

Update: 6/22/2012 - View: 2487

Background of the Project:

Malnutrition among children and women is still highly prevalent in Vietnam. The cause of malnutrition is complex but the quality of caring practices is an important underlying cause of malnutrition. Clean and safe water, the first priority of health care, is the one of the most important factor to improve malnutrition condition. However, currently only about 25%-30% of population in Vietnam can drink and use "clean water", of which standards were established by Vietnam Government.

In the year 2001, ILSI CHP Japan conducted quality monitoring of drinking water of 16 water sources in rural areas such as: Nam Dinh, Hoa Binh, Ha Tay province and 02 rural districts of Hanoi city (Thanh Tri & Tu Liem) in cooperation with NIN, MOH and MARD. The outcome shows concern about the quality of more than a half of water sources analyzed. It is also not expected that a city water supply system will be established in rural areas in the near future.

In parallel with the improvement of water supply system, the Information Education Communication (IEC) activities are very important to promote the role of clean water and nutrition and health status of women and children. Some IEC programs have been developed and implemented in rural provinces but the effect has not been increased. The survey in year 2003 of the Department of Preventive Medicine, MOH in Nam Dinh province also showed that 90.4% of inhabitants desired using clean water, and among that there were 96.7% of inhabitants who want to use piped water. However, there were only 84.5% of inhabitants registering for using the piped water. IEC activities would be an important role to increase that number. Therefore, the Project "Participatory Approach for Contribution to Improvement of Safe water, Nutrttion and Heatth Envrronment in three Rural Communes nn Vietnam"' is very important in this period. The project SWAN is implemented in collaboration with the National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam (NIN) and the International Life Sciences Institute of Japan Center for Health Promotion (ILSI Japan CHP), with the financial support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Partnership Program - Grassroots Partner Project from November 2005 to November 2008.

Project Purpose:

Long-term purpose:

To improve health and nutritional status and promoting health environment for people in rural area through participatory approach for attaining safe water supply.

Specific purposes:

The project aims:
1) To contribute to improving nutrition & health status of children under 5 years old and their mothers as well as sanitation environments by raising awareness and knowledge about the nutrition food hygiene & safety and drinking water of inhabitants; 2) To improve quality of drinking water so as to meet the standards of Vietnamese government (clean water 2005, MoH) by improving the water treatment operation; and  3) To attain sustainable supply of safe water by Water Management Union through a participatory program of inhabitants.

Target Area: Rural areas of Hanoi and Nam Dinh Provinces as follow:

  • Model 1: Tam Hiep Commune, Thanh Tri District, Hanoi
  • Model 2: Dai Mo Commune, Tu Liem District, Hanoi
  • Model 3: Quang Trung commune, Vu Ban District, Nam Dinh Province

Main activities

There are 2 main programmes in SWAN project:

  • Technical programme: To improve the water quantity & quality through participatory approach for modification of water treatment facility. Improve the current water supply system in pilot communes and optimize the operational procedure in order to maintain the water treatment facility for supplying clean & safe water.
  • IEC programme: Develop IEC materials and evaluate periodically the IEC activities to learn from experience and to enhance the IEC activities. Organize training courses about the role of clean water in nutrition and health for technical & health staffs. Established "Water Management Union" (WMU) in communities. WMU will manage the Water supply system in term of operation and quality assurance. In addition, this Union will pay important role in IEC activities to enhance the knowledge of inhabitants. This Union will be sustainable maintained from financial income of people who using safe water.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Awareness and knowledge about drinking water will be raised among rural inhabitants and participatory programs by inhabitants will be sustained to improve health caring practices and nutritional status.
  • IEC materials about nutrition & safe water will be broadly disseminated in community, and become an effective factor to change the behavior of people in health care work.
  • "Water Management Union" will become a key organization in community for improvement of nutritional and health care activities through clean water solutions.
    This will be a model for other rural areas in Vietnam.