COVID has certainly had a major impact on so many people and activities across our globe! And sadly this also includes our planned WASH (Water Sanitation and Health) project in Ba Tang in Quang Tri Province in Vietnam.
We were planning on starting there almost 2 years ago, but the various stages of COVID have effectively prevented us from commencing.
Our plan is to draw water from three river sources up in the hills, and then, through a combination of pipes and tanks, provide water to some 4800 villagers, living in 45 small villagers. We will also be providing septic toilets to schools in the area, and providing training on sanitation and hygiene, as well as showing the villagers how to maintain their water supply systems.
We provide the technical direction and provide the materials. The villagers then contribute by providing the workers to construct the systems. This keeps our costs down – enabling us to extend our works. It also gives the villagers a great understanding of the construction methods, and how to repair and maintain the system.
We have raised sufficient funding, and this remains available, even with the COVID delays.
Our MiVAC Board members are all volunteers, and those MiVAC members who choose to help in Vietnam will also be volunteers, but we do cover basic living costs. This way, we are proud to advise that some 90% of our available funding goes directly to the purchase of materials – which is a considerably higher percentage of some other charities which have paid staff!
Board member Peter Perry is very anxious to proceed, and will be undertaking much of the administrative and logistical aspects of the project – including finding and renting a combined house and office in Khe Sanh, getting it furnished, buying IT equipment, hiring a vehicle, and hiring some local staff.
I plan on following Peter about two months later once COVID has quietened down over there. My role will be to get the final planning completed for the first water supply sites, getting the materials purchased and delivered, and then getting works underway. Our work area is in the Ba Tang community – roughly an hour’s drive south of Khe Sanh.
We will shortly be asking for volunteers who may wish to join our team in Vietnam to help with our project. More to follow on this.
On behalf of our Board, I wish you and yours a happy and safe 2022.
Brian Boon, MCS