Years of war have left Phu Da commune, 20 km East
of Hue City, with vast areas of sandy, infertile land pockmarked with bomb
craters and cacti.
Like many of the residents of this commune, Mr
Nguyen Van Tien has struggled to survive in this barren area. Before IDE
came to his commune, he lived in a small thatched hut, growing only a
handful of cassava. His wife worked in a kindergarten and was the primary
income earner of the family. With a joint monthly salary of $21 per month,
Tien recalls how they only had enough money to provide proper meals for
their three young children for 7 months of the year.
Tien’s life changed when he was chosen to
participate in a two-week course in how to drill tube-wells as part of
IDE’s hand pump program in his commune. Upon successful completion, Mr.
Tien received a loan to purchase drilling equipment and soon after, he
established a drilling team with two other drillers. IDE helped him make
initial contacts, and before long he had established a good reputation.
customers came back to us because we always looked after them.”
Buoyed by the success of his original team, Tien
set up his own drilling team a year ago. Mr. Tien now earns up to $60 a
month, and his family lives in a concrete house.
He reflects, “Although Phu
Da is still one of the poorest communes in the province, I am very lucky.
I have a good business and a secure future for my family.”