DAK NONG (VNS)— Around 2,400 households along a stretch of the Serepok River in southern Dak Nong Province's Tam Thang Commune are suffering from a foul smell caused by waste water being dumped into the river by local factories.
The discharge, which is coming from enterprises based in Tam Thang Industrial Zone, is responsible for the stink and is also heavily polluting the river, according to Vu Sinh Quyet, deputy chairman of Tam Thang Commune.
He said the problem has existed since late 2011 and continues to worsen, with many dead fish floating along that stretch of the Serepok.
"The stench appears whenever the factories dump their waste; it can be early in the morning or midnight," he said.
He added that local people living as far away as four kilometres from the factories still complained about the putrid smells.
The Dai Viet Alcohol Factory has been identified as one of the culprits, Quyet said.
Earlier this month they were fined VND14 million (US$700) by the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department for illegally discharging untreated waste into the river following tests undertaken in January.
He revealed that the results of these tests showed that poisonous substances in the waste water exceeded the country's regulated levels by up to five times.
Meanwhile, Duong Viet Hung, deputy director of the Dai Viet Alcohol Factory, told the radio station Voice of Viet Nam that the stink was not caused by his factory alone, but also by many others operating in the industrial zone.
He called for agencies to clearly identify the origin of the smell before pursuing further punishments.
According to Quyet, the provincial People's Committee ordered Dai Viet to halt their polluting activities earlier this month.
"Unfortunately, despite this the factory ignored them and the situation has not changed so far," he said. — VNS