DAK LAK (VNS) — Dozens of rice husking plants have caused serious environmental pollution in the Dak Lieng Commune in Lak District in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak during the past decade.
This was stated by the commune's People's Committee. Local residents added that the plants discharged the rice husk directly into the surrounding areas and the bran dust flew everywhere.
The plants have expanded their scale of manufacturing activities but have not implemented environmental protection measures.
Y Si Buon Dap, a resident who lives near the Xuyen Hieu Rice Husking Plant, said that as the bran dust entered their houses and covered their belongings, they had to keep their doors closed all day.
"We sent petitions to the authorities at different levels, but the case has not been resolved," he said.
Children itch, cough and snivel all day long. Many families had to shift to other places, he added.
The Nguyen Chi Thanh Primary School, which is located about 100m from the plants, receives a large amount of bran dust whenever there are strong winds.
Tran Thi Oanh, principal of the school, said that during the school break, all students, numbering more than 200, have to stay in their classrooms because they would cough from the dust if they went outside.
"Their white shirts even turn yellow," she said.
The Vietnam News Agency correspondent observed that there are 10 rice husking plants of different sizes along the one-kilometre-long road which passes through the Hue Village.
The dust discharged by the plants exceeded the permitted levels by 5 to 10 times, according to the Dak Lieng People's Committee.
Nguyen Tan Lan, deputy chairman of the Dak Lieng People's Committee, said that the plants were not part of the commune's scheme.
The plants had pledged to protect the environment, but were not following it.
The commune had proposed to the Lak District People's Committee to shift all the plants away from residential areas. However, the proposal was not taken up. — VNS