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Pollution harming Phu Quoc Island environment

Update: October, 26/2015 - 09:26
Organisations and local residents clean the Dinh Cau Beach at the tourist island of Phu Quoc in southern Kien Giang Province early this July. The island's seas and ecology system are being threatened by human activity. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Sen

KIEN GIANG (VNS) — Increasing pollution is threatening the seas and ecology surrounding the tourist island of Phu Quoc in the southern province of Kien Giang.

Rubbish and waste water from tourism services, fishing boats and fish breeding farms are discharging some 180 tonnes of waste per day, though only half is being properly collected, causing serious contamination to the environment, according to the national resources and environmental office of Phu Quoc island district.

Further, areas on the island are seriously polluted from rubbish heaps, dead fish and rotting seafood, causing foul odors.

More than 100,000 residents live on the island, along with over 1,600 companies and businesses, predominantly hotels, resorts, services and food processing workshops that lack standard garbage and waste water treatment systems.

Waste water from most units is collected in sedimentation tanks and then discharged directly into the municipal waste water system. Other units that have access to a wide land area allow for waste waster to be absorbed directly into the natural environment.

Most hotels and resorts are granted certificates for standard waste water, but treated waste water sources in some locations have foul odors, according to statements by businesses and the provincial People's Committee.

Activities in collection and treatment of rubbish have been performed frequently, but the pollution is still on the rise.

Deputy chairman of the People's Committee of district, Huynh Quang Hung, admitted that due to the rapid development of tourism, the environment in many places on the island is not healthy.

The district has tried to collect and treat rubbish in residential areas and public beaches, but sometimes collections are not performed regularly, he said.

Le Quang Minh, the head of the environmental office, told Tai Nguyen and Moi Truong (Resources and Environment) newspaper that the lack of concentrated waste water treatment systems are causing an increase in pollution and might effect the development of tourism and groundwater systems on the island.

To deal with this problem, the committee has approved a project to build a waste treatment plant operated by Global Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company.

The plant, providing advanced technology, is expected to be put into operation soon.

Also, the Government has approved a plan to protect the environment on the island from 2008 to 2020 through the creation of 16 projects at a cost of VND800 billion (US$36.3 million), the newspaper reported. — VNS

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