Participants at EMW's water management workshop
The East Meets West Foundation has been providing people in rural Vietnam with access to safe, clean water for the past ten years. EMW recently added a new sanitation component to the program that will provide training on improved hygiene and sanitation habits as well as the construction of hygienic latrines. This dual approach aims to greatly reduce water-borne diseases and improve overall community health in rural areas of Vietnam.
Water-related illnesses are the leading cause of human sickness and death in the world, taking the lives of about 6,000 people a day. Clean water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene lead to better health and improved economic and education opportunities. Women, children, and those living in rural areas bear a disproportionate burden of the global water crisis in developing nations, often spending hours every day collecting water--time that could be better spent pursuing work or education.
To help strengthen the capacity of local partners, EMW held a water management workshop on privatizing management of rural water systems in October 2007. The workshop was attended by members of local and national goverments, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, NGOs, and local community members. Participants learned about the latest strategies in privatizing water management so that the local communities could be responsible for running their water system.
With sustainability at the forefront of each water project, in 2008 EMW's water team is working on over 20 different water systems. Two of those systems have been completed, and will benefit an additional 3,394 people living in 754 rural households.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony of a newly-completed water system
A little boy enjoying clean running water for the first time fro