Environment
WB announces Vietnam urban wastewater review
  • | VOV | January 22, 2014 08:49 AM
A World Bank report released on January 21 argues Vietnam will need to address sanitation service shortcomings in order to sustain economic growth, improve public health, and minimise adverse environmental impacts.

Managing urban wastewater requires substantial financing. Some estimates suggest at least US$250 per person of annual investment will be needed in the Asian region over the next 15 years.

The first report, “East Asia Pacific Region Urban Sanitation Review: Actions Needed”, synthesises three sector studies in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It examines what hinders the sector and recommends ways in which these countries and their neighbours can expand and improve urban sanitation services in an inclusive and sustainable way.

“About 2.5 billion people worldwide lack adequate sanitation and 660 million of them live in East Asia and the Pacific Region,” said WB Energy and Water Sector Manager Charles Feinstein. “Inadequate sanitation takes a tremendous toll on the quality of peoples’ lives, the environment, and the economy.  But the good news is investments in sanitation yield high returns,” he added.

The second report, “Vietnam Urban Wastewater Review”, focuses on the specific challenges Vietnam faces as a result of increasing environmental pollution associated with rapid urbanisation. It evaluates the wastewater management sector’s performance in Vietnam and makes key recommendations for national policy makers, local governments, and service providers.

Over the last 20 years, the Government of Vietnam has made considerable progress on the provision of wastewater services in urban areas. Review Team Leader and Senior Urban Specialist Hung Duy Le says investment as approached an annual US$250 million in recent years. 

“However, keeping pace with rapid urbanisation is challenging,” he noted. “It is estimated that US$8.3 billion will be required to provide wastewater services to Vietnam’s urban population between now and 2025.”

Poor sanitation’s significant repercussions include chronic poor health caused by dysentery and cholera disease outbreaks. Inadequate sanitation also causes environmental pollution. 

The region’s rapidly expanding cities are engines of economic growth. But poor quality sanitation still costs an annual 1.3% of GDP in Vietnam, 1.5% of GDP in the Philippines, and 2.3% of GDP in Indonesia.

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