Ensuring the right to clean-Water access in rural areas from practice of provinces in red river delta

The need of ensuring RCWA: RCWA in rural areas has been

concretized in law and related documents of the water sector. Target

of ensuring clean-water access has been deployed in stages yet

limited outcomes and low sustainability still exist. The major reason

is that the capacity of mobilizing and contributing resources, as well

as the awareness of implementation agency and residents, are

challenging. Therefore, the need of ensuring basic rights for human

in general and RCWA in particular holds an important role, always

exists, and is considered to be one of the solutions to achieve SD

target.

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rights, like the right to live and the right to health. (iii) Ensuring clean-water access is also considered to be an important figure on the way to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty, improve living standard and bring civilization to human. 2.1.4. The content of the right to clean-water access in rural areas - Accessibility is determined by following factors: Easy access in safe distance for all residents’ physical health; Affordable price that 8 is suitable for everyone as well as not obstructing the benefit of other human rights; Approach both in laws and practice; Right to search and convey information. - Quality: ensure safety according to national standard. - Quantity: guarantee 60 liters/day/person at minimum. - Sustainability: (i) About water sources: no over-exploitation, naturally replenished; (ii) About constructions: good operation and maintenance, supply water that meets national standard; (iii) Participation of the community; (iv) About technology: ensure supply capacity, approved by the community; (v) About financial economics: respond all expenses, especially of operation and administration; (vi) About organization: have enough capacity and supported in construction, technical assistance and legal system. - Fairness: all people have the right to clean-water access, without any discrimination, especially those who are disadvantaged in both legal and practical field. 2.2. Ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas 2.2.1. Concept of ensuring RCWA in rural areas: By law, ensuring RCWA is a synthesis of legal regulations recognizing right, legal institutions to ensure effective enforcement, promoting the RCWA in rural areas to ensure the core value of the right. 2.2.2. Factors that influence on ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas - Political factor: plays the most important role in the process of ensuring human rights through establishing, implementing, monitoring guarantee mechanism, thence create a necessary environment for human to benefit rights. - Economic factor: is the condition for political stability, improving legislation and solidarity of all classes in society; is the basis of efficient law-enforcement, making rights come real. - Legal factor: A mean of formalizing and legalizing social value of natural rights. A mean of ensuring the practical value of human rights; plays a role as a tool that helps State to ensure compliance and implementation of human rights of distinguished subjects in society, 9 simultaneously a tool that helps individuals protect their own human rights through applying legal norms. - Psychosocial and public opinions factor: the decisive factor to human rights awareness; represented by cultural values and indigenous knowledge. - International integration factor: dominates whole of international relationships as well as changes in the structure of global and subjects’ system. 2.2.3. The measure of ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas 2.2.3.1. Ensuring RCWA in rural areas through the legal basis The regulations system is established in the legal-document system of State; used by State to direct or dominate, regulate and create behaviors, relationships among State and residents together with organizations in attempt to ensure right based on the basis of management, combination, monitoring of related parties with specific tool. 2.2.3.2. Ensuring RCWA in rural areas through the implementation institution Implementation institution is the structure of legal regulation management and deployment, contributing to actualizing and ensuring RCWA in rural areas. In countries, State establishes implementation and supervision authorities according to different hierarchies. From the legal perspective, implementation institution is accompanied with state management activities. In Vietnam, right- assurance target is the responsibility of political system; in which, State takes charge of ensuring implementation institution. CHAPTER 2 CONCLUSION Theoretical bases of RCWA and ensuring it have been clarified and concretized in the context of working on the thesis. Accordingly, ensuring RCWA is an effective implementation system, including legal documents and institutions, which improves access to clean water with key values suitable to territorial context. The completion level of ensuring RCWA mechanism depends on following factors: politics, economy, legality, social psychology and international integration; associated with measures of ensuring RCWA legally and institutional arrangement for implementation would be the vital basis ensuring the validity and efficiency of ensuring clean-water access in rural areas. 10 CHAPTER 3: PRACTICAL SITUATION ON ENSURING THE RIGHT TO CLEAN-WATER ACCESS IN RURAL AREAS FROM PRACTICE OF PROVINCES IN RED RIVER DELTA 3.1. General features of provinces in Red River Delta RRD has a large acreage of 21,260 km2; the population is approximately 21.5 million of people, accounting for nearly 23% of national population; the density of population is the highest in Vietnam, 1,1014 people/km2 on average (3.5 times of national average density). The economic scale ranks 2th, taking 35.8% GDP of Vietnam. Nevertheless, RRD has an early exploitation history leaving topographic depressions, two-season climate that has caused the unbalance in harmonizing water sources; over-population, open migrations into urbans have pressurized the economy as well as contaminated the environment. Despite that, RRD holds the potential for socio-economics with advantageous conditions, including natural, financial, infrastructural and human resources in attempt to deploy right-assurance services. 3.2. Measures of ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas in provinces in the Red River Delta 3.2.1. Ensuring RCWA in rural areas through the legal basis Legally, RCWA has been recognized in the Constitution – legal document that is the most valuable in law system. 3.2.1.1. System of general legislative regulations in ensuring RCWA in rural areas Nowadays, about 34 laws and 21 orders have contents related to the work of environmental protection and over 90 government decrees, over 50 decisions and 30 directions issued by the Prime Minister, with hundreds of circulars, directions, decisions issued by Ministries, Sectors have contents that are directly associated with the work of environmental protection as well as water protection – the condition to perform contents of ensuring the right to clean-water access, especially the sustainability of water sources, which is the basis of implementing criteria of ensuring quantity, quality of water supply for rural residents. Several important documents, which have directly influence: Law on Water Resources, 2012; Law on Irrigation, 2017 and strategies, National Target Programs, have shown the systematic and comprehensive points, facilitating for subjects of all 11 economic classes to have opportunities to participate in management, exploitation and use of water. The system of legal regulations has affirmed to ensure contents of RCWA from legal basis. As follows: - Accessibility: Easy access; affordable price for vulnerable groups supported with policies; - Quality: meets the required standards set by the Ministry of Health; - Quantity: 60 liters/person/day at minimum; - Sustainability: Water-supply constructions have to ensure constant and adequate supply in various forms of investment, with deltas: prioritize forms of socialization, public-private partners; disadvantaged subjects need to have appropriate building investment. Apply water- supply paradigm suitable to financial fund and support ability. On basis, National Target Programs of localities in the RRD have approved planning, plan to implement clean-water supply that fit certain conditions, yet must ensure general requirements related to content of ensuring RCWA in rural areas. 3.2.1.2. The law-document system of ensuring the right to clean- water access through economic interest The system of legal documents through economic measures aims at raising awareness of responsibility in using water, towards logical and environmental-effective use; ensures the harmonious relationship between suppliers and users; simultaneously, ensures stable financial source in maintaining, enhancing and advancing quality as well as accessibility on the basis of relevant price, fee, tax; thence, ensures efficient implementation of RCWA content. Regulatory documents, including: Water resource tax; Rural living-water price; Subsidy, support (living-water price, investment in water-supply infrastructure). Above-mentioned legal basis has contributed to: Ensuring accessibility to water safely; creating financial source to support and maintain Clean-Water Access Programs. Ensuring fairness: all residents, especially disadvantaged ones, have clean- water access; the more user consume, the more they must pay. Ensuring sustainability in supplying water: Encourage solutions to exploit and use effectively, reasonably, avoid wasting and environmentally polluting; encourage technology development and application of efficient administration paradigms. 12 3.2.1.3. The law-document system of implementation of ensuring RCWA through regulations in control and monitoring Technical measures which hold the roles of State control and supervision in quality and environmental elements of water supply, including: Monitoring the service quality through the flow measured by water meter as well as physical and chemical tests; Assessing water environment, zoning area protection of taking water supply; Applying geographic-information system and procedure of producing clean water. This law-document system has contributed to: Ensuring monitoring, check of the water-supply constancy and safety; Ensuring the sustainability of water sources, technology as well as management organization; Regulating community participation in supply water management and monitoring activities. The unification of standard, requirements and techniques systems of water and technology qualities has facilitated the management of water according to content of the right to clean-water access. 3.2.1.4. The law-document system in ensuring the right to clean- water access through regulations of violation penalty Administrative-violations penalty: The Government has enacted regulations of sanctioning administrative violations in the field of water resources according to Decree no. 33/2017/GD; Criminal Law, 2017. Chapter XIX regulates environmental criminals; Article 235 regulates environmental-violation crimes, accordingly the fines are from 5 million to 7 billion VND for environmental-violation activities. Criminal penalty: Criminal Law, 2017. Chapter XIX regulates environmental criminals; Article 235 regulates environmental- violation crimes, accordingly imprisonment penalties are from 3 months to 10 years for environmental-violation activities, including water environment. 3.2.2. Ensuring the right to clean-water access through institutional arrangements for implementation 3.2.2.1. State management system in Central The Government unifies the management of state in water-supply activity in Vietnam; enacts and directs implementation of strategies, orientations of water-supply development in national level (Clause 1). Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development takes the responsibility for performing State-management function in water 13 supplying in rural areas (Clause 3); the Ministry’s permanent authority is General Department of Irrigation. Ministries, departments, people’s committee of localities have the responsibility for cooperating with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to deploy the implementation of Rural Water-Supply Target under their functions, missions. 3.2.2.2. State management system in Local level - Province’s State management agency: establishes Steering Committee under Provincial People’s Committee. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is the professional advisory body. Other professional bodies have the duty to associate according to assignments of Provincial People’s Committee and guidance of The Department of Sector Management. - District’s State management agency: People’s Committee in District level takes the responsibility for implementing effectively the State management function with local Agenda, arrange department of specialized coordination. - Commune’s State management agency: People’s Committee in Commune level is responsible for receiving and organizing management, exploitation, maintenance and protection of constructions assigned to the Committee to administer and use; under the technical management of professional-management department. Through institutional arrangements for implementation, legal bases related to contents of RCWA in rural areas has been deployed efficiently, not only ensuring the unification in National level, but also ensuring the local and territorial peculiarity. However, this institution is operational and responsible to superior authorities in order to ensure set targets, especially not leaving anyone behind (AGENDA 2030) in the way to achieve clean-water access. 3.3. Implementation status of ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas 3.3.1. Accessibility: The proportion of rural residents guaranteed to have safely water access during 2010-2015 period has risen 10-23% on average. Up to the end of the year 2018, this has become 98.24% of the whole region; risen nearly 5% and 20.4% in comparison with 2015 and 2010 consecutively; in which, several localities have the proportion of 100% residents having access to hygienic water sources 14 (Hanoi, Hai Duong, Thai Binh). Nevertheless, the proportion of residents using clean water, according to National Standard 02:2009, has risen too slow, on average approximately 4.5% during 2015-2018 period; Hanoi was the lowest that only reached 48%. About water sources: underground water, which is not refined or quality-tested, accounts for a large proportion. About water-supply technology: some proper scientific and technological advances have been applied in localities, for instance: rain system and sand filter to handle iron and arsenic pollution from wells using shallow underground water. About management paradigm and mechanism: so far, there have been 04 centralized water-management paradigms; in which, the model of businesses and cooperatives management is dominant and evaluated to be relatively effective. 3.3.2. Sustainability: Water-supply sources is now deteriorating in quality due to the surface-water pollution and decrease of underground-water level, which are caused by over-exploitation. Some places depend on the seasonality of irrigation works. Residential participation: propaganda work has not been extensive leading to not attracting many approvals. About technology, water- supply construction mainly bases on traditional technology, so the quality of constructions are not high. About economy and finance, they depend on State budget and funding sources; combining with low water-price has impacted on financial sustainability of water- supply facilities. About organizing, management has not followed the market economy principle and the participation of private element in management remains restricted, operational-administration level has not been professional, equipment for water-quality internal inspection and problems handling stay poor, has not yet promoted the efficiency of water supply stations. About constructions sustainability, since the sustainability of technology, financial economy and organization have not yet ensured, several rural water-supply constructions have been now extremely deteriorated, affecting the ability to clean-water access of residents. 3.3.3. Fairness: About accessibility, the difference of proportion of residents having clean-water access is quite clear by regions and localities. Capital distribution remains unreasonable, while structure is still mainly public investment capital; the preferential credit 15 source, despite holding an important role, has unstable interest. About water source, water-resource distribution is uneven and drastically changed over time, leading to lack in dry seasons; rural water-supply system, mainly small-scale water-supply stations, water wells are not regularly checked because of limited funding and asynchronous management of water-source quality. 3.4. Overall evaluation of the status of ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas 3.4.1. About the measures of ensuring RWCA 3.4.1.1. Ensuring the contents implementation of the right to clean- water access based on legal basis RCWA is ensured by law, concretized in law-document system, including: documents of general directions, documents that regulate the economic interests, as well as control and monitoring. Contents of RCWA are all shown, integrated in law documents and ensured by reasonable legal basis. 3.4.1.2. Ensuring the right to clean-water access from practice of provinces in the Red River Delta Applying legal basis: Localities have applied legal bases of the State; simultaneously, enacted related legal documents proper to local conditions, context and resources, ensuring “not leaving anyone behind” principle in clean-water access in each specific stage. Institutional arrangements for implementation ensures the enforcement of RCWA under general regulations and guidance of the State. 3.4.2. About practical implementation About accessibility: Results have contributed to improving safe water supply, which means ensuring stable water supply, stabilizing adequate pressure, constancy and quantity, ensuring water quality according to regulatory standards. Localities has applied and abided all legal, economic and technical measures in attempt to achieve National Target Programs on the basis of efforts to take advantage of resources in order to invest in upgrading infrastructure and awareness of related sides, thence completes important items of the project, raises the proportion of residents having safe-water and clean-water access. In addition, some localities have approached breakthrough development paradigms, applied properly the Joint Circular 37/2014/TTLT-BNNPTNT-BTC-BKHĐT; from that, completing the 16 target of supplying water to 100% rural residents ahead of schedule, for example: Thai Binh. Existing challenges: The lack of official rights for water resources has made difficulties in sustainable-water source management under approach of rights. Policy mechanisms remains inadequate and weak to attract participation of economic elements, including private sector. Capacity of administration and operation in localities is limited leading to the validity and effectiveness deterioration of policies, agencies and organizations established to supply water service have not gained the self-accounting and self- planning ability, not ensured enough resources to maintain water- supply system in exploitation and operation progress. The participation of residents remained restricted. Check and monitoring implementation of law regulations have been loose, causing undetected violations as well as not handle in time. Lack of financial potentials; conflicts in water access and management paradigm still remain in several localities. CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER 3 Vietnam has recognized and steadily deployed solutions to ensure RCWA proper to specific conditions of each territory. Safe-water access has become a legal right of every individuals, not just a welfare service. Together with that, Vietnam has enacted as well as enforced many measures in order to ensure rights implementation in a fair and transparent way through dissemination widely and call for water-resource support and protection from all over the society as well as ensuring that residents have many opportunities to fair water- access environment. The RRD has one of the highest proportion of people having hygienic-water access in Vietnam; yet the gap of localities is still big: while many others have had flexible measures that can be considered breakthroughs to attract investment under the direction of socialization, some are still confused in efficient deployment and management for water-supply constructions, causing waste of investment capital; especially inadequate finance is the major reason why there remain difficulties in implementation progress. 17 CHAPTER 4: VIEWPOINTS, SOLUTIONS TO COMPLETE ENSURING THE RIGHT TO CLEAN-WATER ACCESS IN RURAL AREAS FROM PRACTICE OF PROVINCES IN THE RED RIVER DELTA 4.1. General context The need of ensuring RCWA: RCWA in rural areas has been concretized in law and related documents of the water sector. Target of ensuring clean-water access has been deployed in stages yet limited outcomes and low sustainability still exist. The major reason is that the capacity of mobilizing and contributing resources, as well as the awareness of implementation agency and residents, are challenging. Therefore, the need of ensuring basic rights for human in general and RCWA in particular holds an important role, always exists, and is considered to be one of the solutions to achieve SD target. Potential and challenge in water-supply source in RRD provinces: The abundant water resource is created mainly by the combination of the Red River-Thai Binh River system and favorable socio-economic condition. However, the quantity of water distributes seasonally, some points have shown the pollution phenomenon; along with the difference of each local resources leading to the need of solutions depending on appropriate perpectives in order to promote territorial advantages and bright spots in ensuring rights to enhance, multiply and overcome disadvantages of ensuring rights, towards the target: ensuring all rural residents can access to National-standard water, at minimum 60 liters/person/day. 4.2. The viewpoint in ensuring the right to clean-water access in rural areas 4.2.1. The viewpoint of the State in taking responsibility for ensuring RCWA: The State must be responsible for organizing implementation of ensuring the right through suitable control and enforcement mechanisms. 4.2.2. The viewpoint of sustainable development: To obtain sustainability, it is essential to: Ensure to have a constant and timely financial source; be sustainable in use; be sustainable in operating. In attempt to ensure sustainability and fairness in clean-water access, there is vital to: Improving the role of user in water-supply 18 construction decisions; Do as the principle “User must pay” for building and management activities. The government only supports disadvantaged subjects; simultaneously, “The one who pollutes water sources must pay”. 4.2.3. The viewpoint of right-based approach: allows enhancing service quality and living standard for all people. 4.2.4. The viewpoint of socialization and community approach: the participation of community not only helps with promoting RCWA in rural areas but also raises the general voice of disadvantaged subjects as well as converts accessing methods to assist them in performing their rights. 4.2.5. International integration in water use on international river basins and ensuring rights implementation: Enhance association, ensure fairness and reasonability in exploiting, using and protecting the water resources basing on the principle: ensuring national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests; ensuring the systematic drainage basins, unseparated by administrative boundaries. 4.3. Solution to ensure the right to clean-water access in rural areas 4.3.1. Complete the legality of ensuring RCWA 4.3.1.1. About accessibility: It is necessary to apply and perform the Law on Environmental Protection, Water Resources Law and other related precisely to decrease problems in sustainable management and allocation of water resources under the approach of rights. At the same time, proper mechanism is needed for residents to achieve access to transparent information about the source and quality of supply water. Also, there should be more specific encouragement policies in using water sparingly and more ef

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