UAE initiative improves access to clean drinking water for 10,000 people in villages, schools of rural Vietnam

Another four countries have also been identified as deployment grounds for new projects


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 28 Sep 2023, 1:55 PM

A UAE-driven humanitarian initiative has improved access to clean drinking water for 10,000 people in rural Vietnam.

Zayed Sustainability Prize’s Beyond2020 initiative installed environmentally sustainable freshwater resources in the Quang Nam province. Eight water purification systems developed by Safe Water Cube, a global non-profit organisation and a Zayed Sustainability Prize 2019 finalist under the water category, are now being used to provide clean water to five villages and three schools.

Beyond2020 carries forward the humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, by providing sustainable technologies and solutions to vulnerable communities around the world.

Dr Bader Al Matrooshi, Ambassador of UAE to Vietnam, said Beyond2020 remains a symbol of collaboration, connecting innovation to bring about positive real-world change.

“Both the UAE and Vietnam have a strong resolve to promote innovative solutions that urgently address pressing sustainability challenges. As we expand water access to rural Vietnamese communities through the implementation of pioneering water filtres, we not only tackle a critical need but also foster resilience and well-being.”

With more than 2,360 rivers, Vietnam has abundant supplies of natural water resources. However, the country faces severe water shortages. Although the country has made rapid progress in improving water supplies over the past few decades, in remote areas it is reported that less than 50 per cent of households have access to safe water and sanitation. Providing a simple water purification system that can clean the water from its rivers and wells would significantly bolster the nation’s water security and also improve key health outcomes.

Nguyen Manh Tuan, Ambassador of Vietnam to the UAE, said: “Providing safe drinking water to all Vietnamese is a top priority for our government. The Beyond2020 initiative, which has brought safe drinking water to 10,000 local people, is an important step to unlocking access to sustainable sources of water that can help our countrymen in the remote areas live a healthier, more productive life.”

The Safe Water Cube fountains are developed by the France-based Agir Ensemble Association. Powered by a hand pump, the fountain filters microbes, viruses, and other impurities from the water through various filters without the use of harmful chemicals or an electrical power source. One Safe Water Cube fountain can supply 1,000 litres of clean water per hour and provide clean water to a village of up to 1,000 people. Safe Water Cube has also trained 26 people, including 14 men and 8 women, in the use, upkeep, and maintenance of the fountain.

The deployment in Vietnam marks the third time Safe Water Cube has been installed in remote, underserved communities through the Beyond2020 initiative by providing access to clean water in Madagascar for 8,500 people and in Cambodia for 4,400 people.

Beyond2020 brings together a leading number of partners which include the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, BNP Paribas, Mubadala Energy and Masdar.

Since its inception, a total of 16 deployments have been rolled out, including energy, health, water and food-related solutions, transforming the lives of over 211,800 people in 16 different countries across Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Another four countries have been identified as deployment grounds for new projects.


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