SON LA (VNS)— Villagers in Hua La Commune from the northern province of Son La are having to use increasingly contaminated wells and mountain water sources, which are also running low.
The commune is located only five kilometres from Son La City, but just three out of its 15 villages are able to have access to clean water. The remainder of them, including the commune centre zone and public service buildings, such as the communal clinic and schools, have to cope with unhygienic water sources which might be harmful to the public's health.
Pham Thi Thang, a teacher in Hua La kindergarten, said the only water for the teachers and students in the kindergarten was from a well, which has been giving off a foul smell since October 2013. Later tests of the well's water showed that it was seriously polluted and unusable.
Unfortunately, water pollution has spread across the commune. According to Leo Van San, Secretary of Hua La Party Committee, household trash, along with untreated waste from the breeding industry and the hot spring businesses located in the upper course, are to blame for the pollution, as all waste is disposed of in the stream, which provides water to the commune.
Most of the households have been using dirty well water for their daily needs, without running it through a filter system. Those families that can afford to, purchase filtered water, but save every drop just for drinking and cooking.
Yet, not using the wells is not an option. All of Pong villagers still have to take water from polluted wells, as sources of mountain water have dried out since the beginning of the dry season.
"All we hope is that the Government finds a way to bring clean water to the villages as soon as possible. We are so worried about having to use such dirty water", said Ha Son Tinh, a Pong villager.
Chairman of the commune's People's Committee, Lo Van Doi, said local authorities could not afford to build a facility to provide safe water for local residents, and have proposed to higher level authorities that they support construction of such a facility to help ensure the health of local residents. — VNS