Ambassador to Vietnam supports knowledge exchange for clean water in Phu Tho Province
A visit to Phu Tho Province’s water utility by the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam has highlighted the value of knowledge exchange partnerships between Australian water professionals and local Vietnamese water supply companies.
Over 170,000 people in the Phu Tho Province of Vietnam benefited from improved water supply because of the Water Utility Improvement Program, which paired Australian water professionals from Coliban Water from Bendigo in Victoria, with counterparts at the Phu Tho Water Supply Company from 2017-2019. Working together to identify and improve water supply issues, the project successfully targeted one of the key health issues in the area – access to safe drinking water.
Ambassador H.E Andrew Goledzinowski was impressed by the developments at Phu Tho WSC, one of five Vietnamese water utilities, to improve their water services through enhancement of operational and management capacities, as well as system innovations. . The first of its kind, the program was facilitated by the Australian Water Association (AWA) in collaboration with the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA), with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Australian Water Partnership (AWP).
“Quality of water has a direct impact on the health, well-being and productivity of the community,” said Ambassador Goledzinowski. “It’s terrific to see first-hand the benefits of Australia and Vietnam working together on automation for monitoring water quality and other system improvements at the Phu Tho WSC.”
Coliban Water and Phu Tho WSC have formed strong links, and are committed to continuing to work together to improve water services in the area. Mr Nguyen Van But, Chairman of Phu Tho WSC, was grateful for the support received and had this to say:
"I sincerely thank DFAT and AWA for their support in this exceptionally fruitful collaboration and enduring partnership, Phu Tho WSC aspires to forge a long-term partnership with Coliban Water and our Australian friends. We also hope that this program will be continued and scaled up to support more utility-to-utility partnerships, contributing to the strong ties between Australia and Vietnam water sectors.”
Manager Water Regulations at Coliban Water, David Sheehan, who has worked on the project since the start, reinforced the value of these types of partnerships, saying, “Coliban Water greatly values the partnership that we have developed with Phu Tho WSC over the past five years. Helping to deliver access to safe drinking water, and contributing to Vietnam achieving outcomes under SDG6, is important to Coliban Water, and we look forward to future opportunities to continue to assist Phu Tho WSC achieve its strategic goals and expand its provision of safe drinking water across Phu Tho Province.”
Programs like these rest on the strength of the relationships between stakeholders, and the relationship between AWA and its Vietnamese counterpart VWSA is fundamental to the success of this project so far, and the benefits yet to come. Dr Nguyen Ngoc Diep, Chairman of VWSA, shared this:
“Over the years, DFAT and AWA have continuously and effectively supported both VWSA as well as the Vietnam water sector in general, significantly contributing to their sustainable development. On behalf of VWSA, I would like to extend our gratitude for your valuable support and collaboration. VWSA hopes to receive further support from DFAT and AWA in the near future to jointly resolve regional and global challenges of the water sector. Continued support would also enable us to promote investment and trade activities between the two countries, contributing to the achievement of Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy”.
“AWA, in collaboration with VWSA, and other key stakeholders, is proud to be supporting Vietnam to improve water system operation and resilience capacities through knowledge sharing, technology, and innovation. We look forward to building on these successes together by creating more opportunities to connect AWA’s members with opportunities to contribute to the achievement of SDG 6 in Vietnam and to also learn from our Vietnamese partners.” said Sally Armstrong – Head of International and Industry Programs, AWA
This project is part of AWA and VWSA’s efforts to connect the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors, sharing knowledge and innovations towards the achievement of a sustainable water future for all. In addition to the Phu Tho WSC/Coliban Water collaboration, AWA has facilitated partnerships and knowledge sharing between 16 urban and regional water utilities from Australia and Vietnam. Together, these projects have resulted in improved water service delivery to 16 million customers in Vietnam.