In 2019, Vietnam partnered with Singleton Council, one of New South Wales Australia’s local governments, to improve their water infrastructure.
The utility exchange program is an initiative by the Australian Water Association. Members from Singleton Council’s water and sewer services team will visit Nghe An in Vietnam to observe and work alongside the rural water utility.
Employees of the water utility in Vietnam will also have the opportunity to visit Singleton and observe the systems there. The hope is that in this cultural water infrastructure exchange, both parties will come away with new ideas and understanding about how to manage rural water supplies.
The Singleton Argus reports:
“Council staff will do at least three short exchanges with our partner utility in Vietnam, and Vietnamese water staff will come over to visit us and our infrastructure as part of the program to share knowledge and learn about new ways of doing things,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity to see the challenges that other organisations face, as well as experience how they are making things happen in their context.
“There may be vast differences between the circumstances in Singleton and those in Vietnam, but there may also be similarities and the opportunity for collaboration that can benefit both sides.”
The visits will be eye-opening for both sets of utilities. They will raise awareness for the state of infrastructure in developing countries like Vietnam and will aid Vietnam in discovering potential solutions to achieve the nation’s goal of meeting drinking water standards by 2020.
This exchange program is an excellent example of an innovative way to share knowledge and solve water management issues not just at a local or national level but internationally through collaboration.
An exchange program is an excellent example of the water infrastructure exchange programs occurring across the Asia Pacific regions.
Every country in the region has capacity-building challenges, and an exchange program is an excellent tool to assist with capacity building.