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Old July 21st, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Default Tan Hoa - Lo Gom Canal Sanitation and Urban Upgrading Project


The Tan Hoa - Lo Gom Canal Sanitation and Urban Upgrading Project is one of several donor-funded projects to tackle canal pollution in Ho Chi Minh City. The implementation is a collaboration between the People's Committe of Ho Chi Minh City and Belgian Technical Cooperation.

The project is characterised by a diverse yet interconnected series of activities reflecting the complexity of the issues involved in meeting the general project objectives:

* to improve the quality of life in the Tan Hoa - Lo Gom canal area;
* to strengthen the capacity of the communities and authorities dealing with pollution and urban poverty.
Urban Upgrading

The target area is right next to the polluted Tan Hoa Lo Gom canal. It is made up of small alleys and houses for 166 poor families, living there since the 1970s. The area was lacking basic infrastructure, such as drainage, water and electricity supply. Many houses did not have house numbers. Therefore they could not register for electricity or water meters and ended up paying high prices to second hand suppliers.


*To provide house numbers to all households in the project area.

*To improve basic infrastructure in the area such as: alley pavements, drainage, public lighting, electricity and water supply.

*To help households getting connected to the electricity and water supplies and build a septic tank.


The local people participated in the investigation. The project design is based on people's opinions and willingness. People formed a Community Team to supervise constructors during the implementation process. The local people and authorities were responsible for management and maintenance. The social workers team provided administrative and technical support for electricity, water supply and septic tanks. Through the credit and savings groups, families were able to get financial support if needed.


* 45,000 EUR, i.e. 270 EUR per family


* Most alleys are paved and public lights installed.

* The electricity and water supply is connected to the city network, most of the 166 households now have a private electricity and water meter.

* The drainage network has expanded and more then 20 septic tanks have been built with financial (50%) and technical support.

* House improvements (e.g. floor raising, tiling, painting) are ongoing without project support.

Challenges and lessons learned

*Financially very affordable for the city and project affected families, this pilot project already serves as an example for the Vietnam Urban Upgrading Project supported by the World Bank.

*However the project still has to prove itself to be a decent medium-term, not a temporary, solution to sanitation and urban poverty problems. The uncertainty for the project affected families remains.

*To avoid flooding the drainage was installed and the alleys paved at a much higher level then the existing one, causing connection problems for the houses along them.

*Maintenance of the new utilities (e.g. public lighting) is lacking and responsibilities should be clarified.
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