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Cleanup for capital city lake

Update: July, 22/2017 - 09:00
An aerial view of Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hà Nội. The city has instructed that the cleaning project must retain the lake’s distinctive dark green colour. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

Hoàn Kiếm Lake is a very important place in the capital city.

Sadly, it has become very dirty and many fish and other creatures that once lived in there are no longer able to do so.

However, there are now plans to clean up Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

It will be done very carefully so that the places fish and other creatures need to live in are not destroyed.

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s iconic Hoàn Kiếm Lake has been severely polluted through the years and must be cleaned to save the threatened living creatures there, experts said.

Hoàng Thị Thu Hương, deputy director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology under the Hà Nội University of Technology, said the lake was contaminated and had lost the ability to clean itself.

“The thick mud at the bottom of the lake contains heavy metals and toxic gases, affecting the habitats of creatures,” she was quoted as saying by Kinh tế và Đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs) newspaper.

“The high density of algae means there is not enough oxygen and dredging work is a must to protect the lake’s ecosystem and restore its beauty,” she said at a public consultation on the environmental impact assessment report conducted by her institute, co-organised by the Hà Nội Sewage and Drainage Ltd and the People’s Committee of Hoàn Kiếm District.

While most scientists and residents living in the areas around the capital’s central pivot agreed on the need to improve the lake’s water quality, scientists said the environmental improvement plans for the lake should be conducted prudently to redress its pollution while protecting its ecosystem and biodiversity.

Dương Đức Tiến, a biological expert, said the process of rehabilitation and dredging must be carefully considered to make sure it does not badly affect the lake’s habitats. The types of fish and algae living in the lake must be catalogued in detail, he added.

Alien species

Mai Đình Yên, another expert, agreed, saying mud layers should be maintained during the dredging process since it is the habitat for many species.

Nguyễn Ngọc Lý, director of the Centre for Environment and Community Research, proposed that Hoàn Kiếm District set forth regulations to prevent residents from releasing fish into the lake. "Hoàn Kiếm Lake has many kinds of alien species. Some people even bring sacks of eel and snails to the lake," she said.

Trịnh Đăng Khoa, who resides on Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, said that despite efforts in recent years to improve the lake’s water quality, the results did not meet residents’ expectation.

Nguyễn Thị Minh Hà, chairwoman of the Lý Thái Tổ Fatherland Front, stressed the need to raise the awareness of local residents about the lake’s ecosystem protection.

Phan Hoài Minh, Deputy General Director of Hà Nội Sewage and Drainage Ltd, the cleanup project’s investor, said the company would instruct the consultants to review all suggestions, particularly those on biodiversity in the environmental impact assessment. Once completed, the report would be submitted to the scientific council at ministerial and municipal level for approval.

Covering about 12ha, Hoàn Kiếm Lake (also known as Returned Sword Lake) is located in the centre of the capital. Apart from its spiritual and cultural values, it is considered a scenic venue, a hub for weekend relaxation from the chaos and bustle of the city.— VNS
 

 

GLOSSARY

Hoàng Thị Thu Hương, deputy director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology under the Hà Nội University of Technology, said the lake was contaminated and had lost the ability to clean itself.

Contaminated means polluted with poison.

If the lake has the ability to clean itself, it is able to do so. If the lake loses its ability to clean itself it can no longer do so.

“The thick mud at the bottom of the lake contains heavy metals and toxic gases, affecting the habitats of creatures,” she was quoted as saying by Kinh tế và đô thị (Economic and Urban affairs) newspaper.

Toxic means poison.

A habitat is a place where a plant or animal has the correct amount of food and shelter to live.

To quote someone means to record what that person has said. This can be done by writing it down, filming it or taping it.

“The high density of algae means there is not enough oxygen and dredging work is a must to protect the lake’s ecosystem and restore its beauty,” she said at a public consultation on the environmental impact assessment report conducted by her institute, co-organised by the Hà Nội Sewage and Drainage Ltd and the People’s Committee of Hoàn Kiếm District.

If there is a high density of algae, there is a lot of it.

Algae is a very simple type of plant that does not have leaves or stems and usually grows in water.

Dredging means digging up soil from the bottom of a river, lake or ocean to make it deeper.

An ecosystem is a community of living things that need and use one another to survive. It can be an area as small as a pot plant or as huge as the entire world.

Co-organised means organised together.

While most scientists and residents living in the areas around the capital’s central pivot agreed on the need to improve the lake’s water quality, scientists said the environmental improvement plans for the lake should be conducted prudently to redress its pollution while protecting its ecosystem and biodiversity.

The city’s pivot is the centre point round which the city moves.

Prudently means wisely and keeping the future in mind.

To remedy something means to correct it.

If a place, like a lake, has biodiversity, it has many different types of living things such as plants and animals living in it.

Dương Đức Tiến, a biological expert, said the process of rehabilitation and dredging must be carefully considered to make sure it does not badly affect the lake’s habitats.

Someone who is a biological expert is an expert in biology, which is the study of living things, including plants and animals.

Rehabilitation is the process of bringing something that is damaged back to how it was when it worked properly.

The types of fish and algae living in the lake must be catalogued in detail, he added.

If all things living in the lake are catalogued, they are identified and listed in a special place in a very ordered and organised way.

Mai Đình Yên, another expert, agreed, saying mud layers should be maintained during the dredging process since it is the habitat for many species.

Maintained means kept.

Trịnh Đăng Khoa, who resides on Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, said that despite efforts in recent years to improve the lake’s water quality, the results did not meet residents’ expectation.

A person who resides in a place lives there and is a resident of that place.

A person’s expectations are what they expect of something.

Nguyễn Thị Minh Hà, chairwoman of the Lý Thái Tổ Fatherland Front, stressed the need to raise the awareness of local residents about the lake’s ecosystem protection.

To raise awareness about something means to make people think more about it and know more about it.

Phan Hoài Minh, Deputy General Director of Hà Nội Sewage and Drainage Ltd, the cleanup project’s investor, said the company would instruct the consultants to review all suggestions, particularly those on biodiversity in the environmental impact assessment.

An investor is someone who puts money into something in the hope of making more money from it.

A consultant is someone with lots of knowledge about a certain topic who gives advice.

To review suggestions means to take another look at them to check that they are good enough.

An environmental impact assessment is a test that a big project idea must go through before it is carried out, to make sure that it does not harm the environment.

Once completed, the report will be submitted to the scientific council at ministerial and municipal level for approval.

To submit a report means to hand it in.

 

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

 

  1. Phan Hoài Minh is director of the Centre for Environment and Community Research.
  2. Hoàn Kiếm Lake is in Hà Nội.
  3. Hoàn Kiếm Lake is also known as Returned Sword Lake.
  4. The lake is contaminated but still has the ability to clean itself.
  5. Hoàn Kiếm Lake covers 12ha.

 

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. True.

 

 

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