Safe water and rural environmental hygiene program helps Nguyen Thi Giap’s family have safe water to use.
The implementation the program in Ham Yen district can be taken as an example. Ham Yen, a mountainous district of the province with over 60% of its population being ethic minority people, reported residents’ health problems in previous years due to inappropriate care for safe water and environmental hygiene. 
Earlier, Mr. Vu Quoc Tung’s family in Bat village, Tan Thanh commune, had to take rainwater for use while water for bathing and washing was taken from ponds and lakes that were polluted by waste water and breeding waste.
Early this year, he decided to borrow VND12 million from the provincial Bank for Social Policies to construct safe water cisterns and a hygienic restroom. “At present, my family has safe water and a modern restroom to use, which both ensures environmental protection and increases my family members’ health,” he said.
According to Ms Tran Thi Tuoi, 38 of 67 families in Bat village have accessed loans from the provincial Bank for Social Policies with an outstanding balance of VND1.7 billion, of which the loans for safe water and hygienic environment rank third after loans for poor and nearly-poor families.
Like Mr. Tung’s family, Ms Nguyen Thi Giap’s family in Dong Ca village, Duc Ninh commune, borrowed VND12 million from the provincial Bank for Social Policies to build the safe water system and closed restroom. “Since having access to safe water, our family members’ quality of life has been remarkably improved,” she said. “No one contracts eye, skin or congestive diseases anymore.”
According to Ha Xuan Khanh, Chairman of the Duc Ninh communal People’s Committee, authorities work closely with the provincial Bank for Social Policies to make favourable conditions for families to access loans for safe water, and have supported the building of over 500 hygienic rest-rooms. So far, a safe water construction has been put into use, providing safe water to over 90% of families.
Nguyen Gia Khang, Director of the Transaction Department of the Bank for Social Policies in Ham Yen district, said that as of late April, the bank has carried out 14 preferential credit programs with an outstanding balance of nearly VND370 billion, including VND33.7 billion for safe water and rural environmental hygiene./.