ĐỒNG NAI — The lives of thousands of local people living near the Nhơn Trạch Industrial Zone No 1 in southern Đồng Nai Province have been badly affected by polluted water for over 10 years, reported Lao Động (Labour) Newspaper.
According to the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department, everyday the industrial zone discharges about 4,300cu.m of treated waste water.
But in fact, before flowing into the Thị Vải River, the stinky waste water runs through a canal in Hiệp Phước Commune and has threatened the health of about 800 households living nearby.
“Everyday, the black and stinky waste water from the industrial zone is discharged into the canal,” Nguyễn Tấn Được, a local resident, told the newspaper.
Water for the daily lives of local households is taken from wells near the polluted canal.
“The water has a stinky smell even after boiled, but we have to use the water every day because we do not have any choice. We do not have the money to install tap water”, said Phạm Thị Đào.
“I am afraid that using the water could cause some diseases, but I do not have money to buy tap water”, said Lê Thu Mai who is working in the industrial zone.
Local people had sent complaints about the water pollution to local authorities many times but the situation has yet to be addressed.
Many people posted clips of the pollution on social networks with an aim of luring the attention of authorities and society at large.
Bùi Phước Đức, head of economic department of Nhơn Trạch District said there was a project to build a sewage system in Hiệp Phước Commune with capital of VNĐ10 billion, but so far the project was still only on paper.
Speaking to the newspaper, Võ Tái Hưng, leader of Hiệp Phước Commune, said the Nhơn Trạch Industrial Zone had a waste water treatment plant discharging water to the residential area, but they usually discharged untreated water into the canal.
The provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department has installed a monitoring station in the area and has confirmed that the level of toxins in the waste water was higher than the permitted norms, said Hưng.
“People of the commune have sent petitions for two years but the situation has not been solved. They were so tired of the lack of response that they had stopped sending complaints,” he said angrily.
Meanwhile, the zone’s management board said that they have not received any complaints from local people about discharging polluted waste water.
Châu Anh Huy, representative of the Nhơn Trạch Industrial Zone, refused to provide information related to the waste water discharge.
While waiting for solutions, the local residents of Hiệp Phước Commune must continue to live with the stinky polluted water. — VNS