|The main rubbish dump of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho was closed yesterday due to the serious pollution it has caused to surrounding areas.— Photo cand
CAN THO (VNS)— The main rubbish dump of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho was closed yesterday due to the serious pollution it has caused to surrounding areas.
However, no alternative for handling the enormous amount of waste discharged every day has been proposed.
Local authorities and residents are currently very concerned about the closure of the landfill, according to the director of the city's Department of Construction, Nguyen Tan Duoc.
The department is making every effort to deal with the problem, Duoc added.
"The department has proposed that the city People's Committee purchase three incinerators operated by natural gas, with each burning 10 tonnes of waste per day", he said, adding that waste collected from the centre of the city might be treated during the first quarter of this year.
However, Duoc stressed that such amounts were too small, in comparison with the amount of waste collected in the city everyday.
Located in Hau Giang Province's Phung Hiep District, Tan Long has been the landfill of both Hau Giang and Can Tho provinces for nearly 10 years and received some 500 tonnes of waste every day.
Nevertheless, such large amount of wastes had been treated with chemicals and buried underground only, as Tan Long became a huge mountain of rubbish over the years.
"Local residents have been continuously petitioning authorities for the closure of the dump because it has seriously polluted the environment. People living near the landfill have difficulties in farming and breeding," the chairman of Tan Long Commune, Le Van Ho, was quoted by Nguoi lao dong (The Labourer) newspaper as saying.
Ho added that water sources in the area were also contaminated.
Quang Van Ut, a resident in Thanh Loi A1 hamlet, said that he was very worried because of the pollution caused by the dumping ground over many years.
He added that he is not able to grow rice or raise ducks due to water contamination caused by the dump.
"Flies frequently buzz around my house, especially at mealtimes, and a nasty smell emanated from the landfill during the months with north-easterly winds. As a result, many people have suffered rhinitis," Ut complained.
Mentioning measures to tackle the pollution, secretary of the Can Tho Municipal Party Committee Tran Thanh Man said that the city has planned to build a high technology waste processing plant, but it faced difficulties in choosing a contractor for the project.
"It is estimated to cost around VND2 million (US$100) to process one tonne of rubbish if using high technology. Therefore, the city is trying to seek support from an investor who can offer us financial assistance in building the plant," said Vo Thi Hong Anh, vice head of the city People's Committee.
The city has sought the French government's financial aid and, in the long term, a high technology waste processing plant is to be built in O Mon District of Can Tho City, if the French government agreed to support it, Anh said.
In addition, a two-hectare dumping ground is being constructed in Thoi Lai District and is scheduled to be put into use at the beginning of this year.
Rubbish will be treated there using Japanese technologies. — VNS