Washington DC, October 25 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today agreed to fund US$ 50 million to support the enforcement of wastewater treatment regulations for industrial zones in Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Dong Nai and Ba Ria Vung Tau, four of the most industrialized provinces in Vietnam.
The funding for the Industrial Pollution Management Project is part of a multi-donor support to Vietnam to manage its industrial pollution issues. The project will also support a comprehensive review of the legal and regulatory framework on pollution management.
“Inadequate regulations, weak enforcement and poor compliance for industrial wastewater treatment reinforce each other to create major environmental risks from Vietnam’s industrialization. It is important that this cycle be broken to promote the greening of Vietnam’s development.” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.
As such, the project aims to enhance monitoring and enforcement of environmental policies in all industrial zones in the four project provinces. Under this project, at least 8 wastewater treatment systems are to be constructed in the participating provinces.
Funding for the project comes from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), the concessional lending window for low income countries. The project promotes environmental sustainability, which is a central element of the World Bank’s Vietnam Country Partnership Strategy 2012 – 2016.
Industrial development is the driver of Vietnam’s growth. As a percentage of overall national GDP, industry has risen from 22.7% in 1990 to 41.1% in 2010 (representing a value of about $42.5 billion). Rapid industrial development in Vietnam has at the same time generated serious pollution issues and has exerted tremendous pressure on its natural resources.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment estimated that IZs discharge about one million cubic meters of untreated wastewater per day directly to receiving water bodies i.e., about 70% of the total industrial effluent discharge.
The Bank’s 2010 Vietnam Development Report on Natural Resources Management concluded that poor management of natural resources and continued environmental degradation are likely to jeopardize the pace, quality and sustainability of the country’s economic growth.