Minister calls for joint action to address environmental challenges

10:23 | 23/03/2017 Environmental Resources

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) Tran Hong Ha has called on joint efforts and actions from the entire community to address challenges regarding the environment, and wastewater in particular.

'For Clean Water Resources' by Tran Minh Hoang, the grand prize winner in the sanitation category of the Water and Sanitation - Photo Contest

Minister Ha made the call at a meeting held in Bac Ninh province on March 22 to celebrate World Water Day.

He reported that according to the World Health Organisation, there are over 663 million people living without access to safe water supply close to their homes, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with health impacts due to consuming contaminated water.

At the same time, most of the wastewater from households, cities and urban areas has not yet been processed but is discharged directly into the environment, consequently polluting the environment and clean water sources, which is becoming increasingly scarce due to the impacts of climate change.

In this context, the United Nations has selected ‘Why Wastewater?’ as the theme for the 2017 World Water Day to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals, improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safely reuse it while reducing the quantity and level of pollution of wastewater we produce, to help protect the environment and precious water resources.

Vietnam is considered to be short of water according to the Asian Development Bank. In terms of inland water resources, the annual average level in the country reaches 3,600 cubic metres per capita, lower than the world standard level (4,000 cubic metres per capita).

To address this shortcoming, the Party and State have developed guidelines and policies to enhance management, and make effective and sustainable use of water resources, ensuring green growth and sustainable development, the minister emphasised.

Chairman of Bac Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tu Quynh stressed that Bac Ninh is now facing significant challenges in regards to the environment, particularly the processing of wastewater in craft villages and domestic wastewater.

He asked for more support from relevant agencies, social organisations, international organisations and press agencies in order to address such problems.

At the meeting, representatives of international organisations and domestic businesses also voiced their opinions to raise public awareness on the importance of water resources, while asserting their commitment to cooperate in resolving water challenges.

Theo NDO