Abu Dhabi, United Arab of Emirates — With the aim of intensifying efforts towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Beyond2020, the UAE-driven humanitarian initiative, has installed environmentally sustainable freshwater resources in communities in rural Vietnam, providing clean water access to 10,000 people.
Launched by the Zayed Sustainability Prize in partnership with several leading organisations, Beyond2020 carries forward the humanitarian legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by providing sustainable technologies and solutions to vulnerable communities around the world. Vietnam marks the 16th deployment of Beyond2020, which will continue to offer life-transforming interventions to a broad number of beneficiaries worldwide, providing tech for good and fostering development that is inclusive and sustainable.
Commenting on the installation in Vietnam, H.E. Dr. Bader Al Matrooshi, Ambassador of UAE to Vietnam, said, “Both the UAE and Vietnam have a strong resolve to promote innovative solutions that urgently address pressing sustainability challenges. As we expand water access to rural Vietnamese communities through the implementation of pioneering water filters, we not only tackle a critical need but also foster resilience and well-being. Beyond2020 remains a symbol of collaboration, connecting innovation to bring about positive real-world change.”
H.E. Nguyen Manh Tuan, Ambassador of Vietnam to the UAE, said: “Providing safe drinking water to all Vietnamese is a top priority for our government. The Beyond2020 initiative, which has brought safe drinking water to 10,000 local people, is an important step to unlocking access to sustainable sources of water that can help our countrymen in the remote areas live a healthier, more productive life.”
Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, CEO of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa, a partner of the initiative said: “As a responsible bank, BNP Paribas is proud to partner with Beyond2020 and mobilise resources for communities in need. As the impact of climate change mounts, millions of people face greater challenges in terms of extreme events, health effects, food security, livelihood security and water security. This is why, more than ever, we must collaborate with global partners, such as Beyond2020 to create real and scalable impact.”
With over 2,360 rivers, Vietnam has abundant supplies of natural water resources, however, the country faces severe water shortages. Although the country has made rapid progress in improving water supplies over the past few decades, in the country’s remote areas – where two-thirds of the population reside – it is reported that less than 50% of households have access to safe water and sanitation. Providing a simple water purification system that can clean the water from its rivers and wells would significantly bolster the nation’s water security and also improve key health outcomes.
Eight water purification systems developed by Safe Water Cube, a global nonprofit organisation and a Zayed Sustainability Prize 2019 finalist under the Water category, are now being used to provide clean water to five villages and three schools in the Quảng Nam province of Vietnam.
The Safe Water Cube fountains are developed by the France-based Agir Ensemble Association, whose mission is to raise private and public funds to install Safe Water Cube fountains in countries where access to drinking water is a real health issue. Powered by a hand pump, the fountain filters microbes, viruses and other impurities from the water through various filters without the use of harmful chemicals or an electrical power source. One Safe Water Cube fountain can supply 1,000 litres of clean water per hour and provide clean water to a village of up to 1,000 people.
In addition to providing safe drinking water to the people of Quảng Nam province, Safe Water Cube has trained 26 people, including 14 men and 8 women, in the use, upkeep and maintenance of the fountain.
Five villages and three schools were selected to receive the Safe Water Cubes. These include A Bat Village, Chaval Commune, Nam Giang District; Pa Dau Village, Thanh My City, Nam Giang District; Tan Doi Village, Dai Son Commune, Dai Loc District; Lap Thuan Village, Dai Hong Commune, Dai Loc District; and Ngoc Son Tay Village, Binh Phuc Commune, Thang Binh District; and three schools in the villages of Nha tho Hoang Phuoc, Dai Hong, and Dai Loc.
The deployment in Vietnam marks the third time Safe Water Cube has been installed in remote, underserved communities through the Beyond2020 initiative by providing access to clean water in Madagascar for 8,500 people and in Cambodia for 4,400 people.
Beyond2020 brings together a leading number of partners which include Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, BNP Paribas, Mubadala Energy and Masdar.
Since its inception, a total of 16 deployments have been rolled out, including energy, health, water and food-related solutions, transforming the lives of over 211,800 people in the sixteen different countries across Africa, South America, Middle East and Asia. Another four countries have been identified as deployment grounds for new projects.