Truong Hanh farmers join a training course on how to protect the environment.
Having been blighted in the past by pollution, disease-ridden water and
other health hazards, poor households in Ha Tinh province are being
given a new lease of life thanks to a pioneering eco-village project.
Tran Thi Hue’s family has used well water for three generations, even
though the contaminated water has brought them many eye and skin
diseases. But thanks to a water filter system installed recently as part
of an eco-village project that began in 2011, this poor household in
the central province of Ha Tinh’s Truong Hanh Hamlet can finally enjoy
“Now we all feel healthy, and my parents and children no longer suffer from eye and skin diseases,” said Hue.
Like Hue’s, the family of Ha Duy Nghia received a large tank to store
safe water for daily use, especially during the dry season.
“In the past we often had to travel 2-3km to get safe water for daily
use,” said Nghia, adding that as part of the project, his family
members participated in a training programme on how to protect safe
water sources and use fertiliser and insecticides in a suitable way.
Tran Van Ty, head of the Truong Hanh Hamlet, said that the project has raised villagers’ awareness of environmental protection.
In the past waste was discarded all over the hamlet, causing
pollution and badly affecting villagers’ health, said Ty. But now
everyone brings their daily waste to collection area so that trucks can
transport it to the village dump.
“The project also helped us to build a culture house for community
activities and gave us a bookcase with more than 350 books on
environmental protection, farming and water sanitation,” he added.
Most importantly, he said, very few households now suffer from eye
and lung diseases, and liver and skin diseases have been significantly
Truong Hanh Hamlet is located on the coastline of Ha Tinh. Most
residents are employed in agriculture and aquaculture; 22.8 per cent of
households are below the poverty line, and 21.6 per cent are close to
poor, said Ty.
The dust from brick kilns, both inside the hamlet and in neighbouring
villages, has caused dozens of cancer deaths as well as other diseases.
There also continue to be major sanitation issues caused by the
polluted ecosystem, he said.
” We hope to receive more fund from the project to help improve living standards of local people,” said Ty.
The eco-village project was funded by Toyota Motors Viet Nam (TMV)
in co-ordination with the Centre of Environment Training and
Communication (CETAC) – the National Environment Agency and Ha Tinh’s
People’s Committee of Xuan Truong Commune, Nghi Xuan District.
The VND1 billion (US$47,620 ) project is part of a broader attempt to
build communities according to the eco-village model that began in 2009
in the north western province of Lao Cai.
A farmer demonstrates one of the models used for the training courses which educate on sustainable development.
After one year of implementation, the Truong Hanh project’s
accomplishments include holding training courses on environmental
protection for local residents and helping them renovate their gardens,
as well as improving the sanitation situation, said TMV deputy general
director Phan Dang Thu Huong.
The project also distributed about 1,200 fruit trees to households
and set up a waste collection area, as well as waste collection trucks
and rubbish bins.
In addition, the project also planted 100 mango trees along the path that leads from the gate to the village.
So far TMV has spent VND1.5 billion ($71,430) on its two eco-village
projects, one in Lao Cai’s An San Hamlet and one in Ha Tinh’s Tien
Chuong Hamlet, said Huong.
The company has also contributed $15 million for projects related to
education, traffic safety, culture, environmental protection and sports.