‘Improving water quality in Vietnam’

The world faces an acute climate crisis. In a series of interviews, Nuffic partners and alumni of our programmes talk about their commitment to a more sustainable world. Part 5: Do Thi Thuy Dung from Vietnam.

Family and peers wanted Do Thi Thuy Dung to pursue a career in business economics, like everyone else around her. Dung, however, chose a different path. At 23 years old, the Vietnam-born Dung is now living in Delft, The Netherlands, and majoring in Water Science Engineering at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. Specialising in Hydrology and Water Resources, Dung plans to put her newly-gained knowledge to use to improve the water quality in her home country.

Dung participated in the Orange Knowledge Programme Climate Proof Vietnam. This is a collaboration between TU Delft, Hanoi University of Natural Resources & Environment (HUNRE), Thuyloi University, and the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente. She did a Bachelor in Water Management at HUNRE and completed an internship with Green Innovation and Development Centre, an NGO that educates children about the importance of clean water. Her mentor encouraged her to apply for a Master at IHE Delft.

Dung arrived in The Netherlands in the Fall of 2021 and plans to graduate Spring 2023. On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate her efforts to contribute to a clean water future for the Vietnamese people.

The biggest sustainability challenge in Vietnam is…

“Well, besides the obvious air pollution from riding a lot of motorbikes, I would definitely say poor water quality is a huge problem in Vietnam. Water for domestic use is flushed into water bodies without proper treatment. Because the lack of fresh water resources, people in Vietnam tend to use ground water, which often contains arsenic. Also, water management in Vietnam is not well organised, which translates into poor water quality in our rivers and lakes.”

I am contributing to a more sustainable world by…

“…gaining knowledge about water quality monitoring. Here in Delft, we are going to set up our own monitoring systems and I have chosen the Red River in Vietnam as the object for this module. Industrial and agricultural practices influence water quality, which in turn has a bad effect on these very same industries.”

“My plan is to bring back my knowledge to help improve the water quality back home. I care deeply about this subject ever since my internship in Vietnam. Learning about the poor water quality, and educating children about this, really served as a wake-up call for me. Once I get back to Vietnam, I hope to set up sample collection stations in rivers and water reservoirs.”

My personal dedication to sustainability matters because…

“…I can inspire and encourage others. I totally believe that. It is not about me. It is about bringing about change for Vietnamese kids, because they are the future. I would like to focus on educating this younger generation, raising awareness and contribute to solving this problem in the future.”

“This will require the efforts of all of us, because awareness around this topic in Vietnam is not what it should be. Even my parents, aunties, uncles and friends wanted me to study Business Economics. I’m the only one of my circle of friends to study environmental topics. That does, however, give me the opportunity to educate them about these pressing issues. And I do every chance I get, haha! Now they have gotten to the point where they understand it a bit more. It’s a start, but it shows that one person certainly can make a difference!”

Orange Knowledge Programme & Impact

How has the Orange Knowledge Programme made an impact over the years? With weekly stories we take you on a journey through various projects and impact makers.

Read more stories about impact in our live blog of the Orange Knowledge Impact Series

Nuffic & Sustainability

In this series of interviews, we introduce you to a number of our partners from all walks of life who are making an impact with regard to sustainability. Read more about our efforts on sustainable student mobility.

Part 1: Aysha Mahmoud Abu Allan, Jordan: ‘We are all impacted by climate change’

Part 2: Rogier Mul, Oss: ‘Duurzaamheidspark laat zien dat er alternatieven zijn’ (in Dutch)

Part 3: Marisa Beunk, Wageningen: 'Step by step towards a sustainable world'

Part 4: Deel 4: Terry Afram, Ghana: ‘Inspireren we allen één persoon, dan veranderen we de wereld’ (in Dutch)