Water supply yet to reach remote districts
Many districts around the country don't yet have access to municipal water supplies, an official has said, adding that it is only the smaller and more remote districts that have yet to receive water supplies.
Director General of the Water Department, Mr Phomma Veolavanh, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that there are about 20 of these smaller district out of 147 districts across the Country.
Most of these do not have access to clean water supplies and are in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces.
The government set a target during the 10th Party Congress last year for 80 percent of households to have access to clean water by 2020, and 90 percent by 2030.
“The water access that we are targeting is clean water from municipal water supplies, known as Nampapa,” he said.
Currently, clean water from the Nampapa system is available to about 68 percent of households nationwide.
A plan drawn up by the Ministry Health called for at least 85 percent of households to have access to clean water supplies in 2015, and more than 95 percent by 2030. Mr Phomma said the Ministry of Health includes household water sources such as artesian wells and well water but noted that well water may not necessarily be clean.
The Water Department was established a year ago under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, following the 10th Party Congress resolution adopted last year that required the government to ensure that 80 percent of households throughout the country would have access to the Nampapa system by 2020.
Water supply operators are working hard to provide access to clean water for many households in these 20 small districts, and it is anticipated that this will reach most homes by 2020.
It is estimated that in 2016 some 300,000 cubic metres of water was available for residents in Vientiane each day.
At the end of last year, the Prime Minister's Office ordered a freeze on water charge increases in Vientiane and put the matter forward for further consideration.
The impending 4 percent price rise that was set to take place earlier this year was suspended.
This followed Nampapa Nakhoneluang proclaiming a new fee structure for household water usage on December 8, which was to have come into effect in Vientiane last month.
The Vientiane Water Supply Company (Nampapa Nakhoneluang) said the Prime Minister's Office had ordered a suspension of water fee increases in the capital.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update February 2, 2017)