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September 28, 2021, 6:38 pm

Where water is as expensive as gold

(16:16:52 PM 09/05/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - More than 400 households in the large seaside city of Nha Trang have been using water from a cemetery for their daily life for the past 30 years.

A hard life without water

The people in the two hamlets of Phuoc Thuong and Phuoc Son of Phuoc Dong Commune have been living with a severe water shortage.

Families with the means to do so buy clean water at the exorbitant prices of VND90,000-150,000 per cubic meter.(State-owned water supply companies, by contrast, sell running water to urban dwellers at VND6,000 per cubic meter on average.)Those who cannot afford the prices, however, must use the water from a well in the Phuoc Dong Cemetery.

Le Hoang Phuong, a local resident in Phuoc Thuong Hamlet, said he has to travel one kilometer a day to the place where clean water is sold.

“The cemetery’s water is muddy, oily and has a bad odor. I dare not use it, though other people have been using it for the last tens of years,” he said.

However, as the water is so expensive, Phuong can only buy 100 liters a day, for which he has to pay VND10,000. The 100 liters is enough for his family to drinkand cook with for two days. Phuong would have to buy 200 liters if he wants to take a bath or wash clothes.

“Even if you accept using the water from the cemetery, you will not have much to use,” Phuong said. “Though it is dirty water, every household can get only a few ladles of water a day, because the cemetery’s managers say the water is reserved for building graves.

Bui Xuan Them, Head of the Phuoc Thuong Hamlet, said there are only 2-3 fresh water wells in the hamlet dug by local people. However, the wells are also located near the cemetery and they also get exhausted in the dry season.

“Other wells only give salty water,” he explained.

Confirming Them’s words, Nguyen Van Chau, who lives behind the Phuoc Dong Cemetery, said people contributed VND15 million to dig a well far from the cemetery. However, the well gives little water, and the water is very muddy.

No money, no water

In 2007, local residents leapt for joy upon hearing that they would never have to use the dirty water from cemetery any longer. A company, Nhan Viet, set up a water supply system and sold water at VND4,000 per cubic meter.

However, the system can only provide water in rainy weather, and stops working in the dry season.

According to Them, the Khanh Hoa Water Supply and Drainage Company has not installed a pipeline to every household. In order to have clean water, people have to pay VND150,000 for every meter of pipeline.

“Lap, a man in the hamlet, would have to pay VND11.7 million for the 78 meter pipe line. With such a high price, very few people can approach clean water,” Them said.

Source: NLD

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