Wastewater and solid waste management for provincial centres

Project description

Title: Wastewater and solid waste management for provincial centres
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Construction (MoC)
Overall term: 2005 to 2014


Viet Nam’s urban population is growing rapidly. Existing urban infrastructure, however, is insufficient to guarantee environmentally compatible wastewater and solid waste disposal. Less than 10 per cent of wastewater in Viet Nam's urban areas is treated at present. Even existing wastewater treatment plants are often in a very poor condition. The environment is severely polluted, and the health of urban inhabitants, and of the rural population who live downstream, is endangered.


The conditions for sustainable wastewater disposal and solid waste management are improved.


Using a multi-level strategy, the programme is delivering advisory services at national level to the Ministry of Construction (MoC) and at provincial level to nine People’s Committees and service providers. The lessons learned at provincial level are channelled upward to the national level and firmly established in legislation in collaboration with the lead executing agency (MoC). This is an important prerequisite for the development of a well-organised wastewater and solid waste management sector at provincial level.

The programme is being implemented jointly by GIZ and KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Technical support provided by GIZ includes the provision of advisory services by international and national experts, study trips, training programmes for national experts and the supply of materials and equipment. Financial cooperation from KfW Development Bank provides investments to upgrade sector infrastructure. GIZ is helping make the use of these investments sustainable by implementing intensive institutional development measures and by promoting citizen participation.

Results achieved so far

  • The Government of Viet Nam has extensively overhauled the existing wastewater legislation based on lessons learned in provinces. Under the new law, all urban households in proximity to a wastewater network must be connected to it. At the same time, however, socially responsible financing for connections to the network are also made possible. The new legislation gives provinces more scope to adapt their management to local conditions. The new law is expected to be adopted in the coming months.
  • All nine provinces receiving advisory services have elaborated orientation plans with the help of policy-makers and civil society. These plans create the strategic framework for effective and efficient wastewater management at the provincial level. The orientation plans also foster far-reaching changes in the sector. All of the provinces receiving advice develop roadmaps for gradually introducing wastewater tariffs that cover operating costs. The province of Soc Trang has already introduced a wastewater tariff based on the polluter pays principle as a first step.
  • Six of the wastewater service providers that have received support to date have implemented individual corporate development plans (CDPs). These plans are recognised as official planning documents by service providers as well as by local authorities (Provincial People’s Committees). This innovative procedure for Viet Nam makes it possible for municipal service providers to manage their operations along modern lines with an increasing degree of independence from state subsidies.
  • 850,000 people living in the provinces receiving advisory services are currently benefiting directly from better wastewater treatment and from operators focusing on serving their customers.
  • Information campaigns by wastewater service operators have made the population much more aware of the risks of inadequate wastewater management. In a survey conducted by wastewater service operators advised by the project, more than 90 per cent of customers were also able to provide information about their rights and duties related to wastewater management. Wastewater management as a service has thus become more transparent as a result.