Communities get involved in clean-up
HCM CITY (VNS)— Getting residents directly involved in keeping their local environment clean as well as in monitoring compliance with environmental protection regulations has proved effective in several HCM City wards.
Pham Hoang Thuy Nguyen, an official with the Natural Resources and Environment Division of Binh Thanh District, said a group of volunteers was doing a good job of cleaning up rubbish from canals in the area.
Nguyen said many boats from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces gathering at the canal in the district's Ward 2 to sell fruits were used to dumping their waste everywhere.
Awareness campaigns carried out by local authorities to get them to stop haphazard dumping were not effective, he said.
However, the situation improved very soon after a group of volunteers set up waste collection points and began charging monthly fees from the boats.
Similar volunteer groups have been enjoying success in several wards in Binh Chanh and Tan Phu districts.
The groups are now acting as a link between local authorities and residents in dealing with environmental problems.
In several wards in the city, residents are the heart of many environmental programmes, says Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong, chairwoman of Ward 13's Fatherland Front unit in District 5.
She told the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that local residents were doing the task of collecting waste by themselves.
After an area is cleaned up, locals continue their work by reminding neighbours to refrain from dumping waste in the canal and informing authorities about instances of illegal dumping.
Le Van Ngu, chairman of Hiep Tan Ward's Fatherland Front unit in Tan Phu District, said "authorities in each locality should still carry out awareness campaigns so residents fully understand and appreciate the importance of environmental protection and know what the relevant regulations are."
He said such campaigns should reach out to primary schools as well. — VNS