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Hai Phong canal poses threat to residents

Update: August, 10/2015 - 08:56
People in Dau Vu Commune in Kien An district in northern Hai Phong City have complained that a polluted drainage canal running through the area is threatening their lives. — Photo baophapluat.vn

HAI PHONG (VNS) — People in Dau Vu Commune in Kien An district in northern Hai Phong City have complained that a polluted drainage canal running through the area is threatening their lives.

Part of the main city drainage system, the canal receives a large amount of solid and liquid waste every day.

"This has led to contamination for the past two decades," a local authority official said.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Van Dau Commune, Vu Van Phuong, told Hai Phong Newspaper waste water from nearby residential areas of Phu Lien, Van Dau and Tran Thanh Ngo ran into the canal.

One section running through Dau Vu is at the end of the canal so waste water and solid waste deposits gradually accumulate and can escape.

Hundreds of households in the district are living with the stench, he added.

"More seriously, waste discharged from local industrial production and daily life are adding more to the contamination of the canal," a villager said.

"In Dau Vu village, for example, there are five noodle-making households discharging untreated waste water into the drain, contributing to the sour odor and thick scum. On hot days, the smells is unbearable, people here have to close the doors 24/24", said Tran Thai Quy, a villager from Hamlet 2.

What worried people in Dau Vu commune the most was the bad effects of the pollution on children's health.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, a mother of a child suffering from an inhalation disease said the stench was very strong, especially in summer. "We have to evacuate our children to relatives' houses in other areas when the stink gets too high," he said..

Hai Phong residents have repeatedly sent petitions to authorities, but the problem remains.

People in the village stretch canvas on the water to keep the smell in or hang nets to prevent flies and mosquitoes from entering houses.

"Hai Phong has currently no appropriate sewerage system," said Dr. Hoang Ngoc Tuan, former director of Hai Phong Department of Science and Technology.

Urban areas had one common sewage network, collecting and transporting overflows from septic tanks, gray water, rainwater then discharging it all directly into canals. In addition, people's low awareness also contributes to the destruction of canals in Hai Phong.

Tuan said the city needed to build waste-water collection systems in all channels, lakes and construct waste-water treatment plants. It also needed to dredge, collect sludge and use microbiological methods to improve water quality in canals.

However, sometimes after waste has been collected, people threw their garbage in again, said Nguyen Minh Tuan, general director of Hai Phong Drainage Ltd.

"If people do not join hands, canals will never be revived", said he. — VNS

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