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Young green space lovers keep city's lakes full of life

Update: October, 08/2015 - 09:29
Dam Tron lake is polluted by solid waste in Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi. — Photo anninhthudo.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Blocks of floating aquatic plants have been appearing in Dam Tron Lake, located on Doi Can Street. These plants help protect the lake's eco-system and have been cultivated by a group of environment loving young people in Ha Noi.

The lake cleaning activity, organised by the Lake Project of the United States Embassy in Viet Nam, brings together teenage volunteers on the second and fourth Sunday mornings of each month.

They come to lakes in Ha Noi such as Thien Quang, Giang Vo, Ngoc Khanh, Dam Tron to clean rubbish floating on the lake surface or on paths around the lake.

All members of the team are high school pupils or university students, who not only love the environment but are concerned about water pollution.

"Water pollution can directly impact residents living around the lake as well as the aesthetic beauty of the city. We all aware of the importance of lakes and the urgency to protect them from being contaminated," Le Bich Ngoc, the team leader said.

After seeing plants on the To Lich River grown by the Ha Noi water drainage company since 2014, they learned to make similar blocks.

The plants are placed on nets and surrounded by plastic water pipes. Each plant is put 30cm apart from each other. Each block is tied by wooden sticks and ropes to avoid drifting.

Producing oxygen for the water and providing a healthy living environment for the lake's inhabitants, aquatic plants are considered an environmentally-friendly and money-saving solution. Each block costs about VND500,000 (US$22), including VND25,000 ($1.1) for each plant, and can be used for up to four years.

"The plants have been effective. We can see that there is not any oily film on the lake surface around the blocks," Ngoc said.

Dam Tron Lake is one of many lakes in Ha Noi that have been seriously polluted due to large amounts of rubbish being thrown in by residents as well as nearby restaurants and food stalls.

Since the plants were cultivated, the lake has become cleaner and fewer people dump rubbish in it, a street sweeper on Doi Can street said.

"I really appreciate the group's contribution to the lake," a resident living near the lake said.

Aiming at raising awareness of not only the youth but all of society, the teenage volunteers also run a programme called Blue Pause to call for the help of people who walk around the lake.

Some food and drinks stall vendors near the lake help them clean floating garbage. "If the lake is clean, our stall also benefits a lot and the residents also suffer less from pollution," the owner of a beer stall said.

In the future, the group plans to make plant blocks on other lakes in Ha Noi, as well as collecting plastic bottles and teaching children to make things out of recycled material.

"Many youths see pollution everywhere but do nothing, we choose to take action and make changes to protect the city's green areas, as well as our own living environment," Ngoc said. — VNS

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