villages pollute environment
|A brick kiln in District
9’s Long Binh Ward in HCM City belches out smoke. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI — Approximately
90 per cent of the country’s 2,790 craft villages have violated environmental
protection regulations, according to the Ministry of Public Security’s
Environmental Police Department.
"Common among most of
these craft villages were contributions to water, air and land pollution,"
said head of the department Colonel Nguyen Van Ly at a recent conference on
fighting against environmental pollution in craft villages.
For example, inspections
at 123 production and trade establishments in a village specialising in
producing and recycling metals in northern Bac Ninh Province revealed that they
did not invest in building exhaust funnels and wastewater treatment facilities.
waste discharged during their production and trade was not collected, but dumped
directly into the environment, causing severe air, water and groundwater
pollution," he said.
Analyses conducted by
authorised agencies found that the air quality in these areas was seriously
polluted, with dust calculated at 113-230 times higher than the allowed level
and the amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2), produced when a material or fuel
containing sulphur is burned, was 48-60 times higher than the allowed level.
An inspection of the Phong
Khe paper production craft village in Bac Ninh province found that the majority
of local businesses directly discharged waste water into the village’s common
drain, which leads directly into Ngu Huyen Khe River.
Other craft villages that
were found causing serious pollution include Thuî Ung in Ha Noi’s Thuong Tin
District, Dai Phu in northern Ha Nam Province and Yen Vien in northern Bac Giang
"It was discovered
that the majority of businesses in these craft villages did not file
environmental impact reports or make commitments to protect the
environment," Ly said.
"The majority of
craft villages have small-scale productions with backward technology, and
awareness among locals of the harmful effects of pollution were the major
reasons leading to the problem," he said.
businesses overuse chemicals regardless of their harmful impacts. Due to the
lack of environmental protection awareness, they discharged untreated waste
directly into the environment," Ly added.
Locals in these craft
villages would be the first to suffer if they become polluted.
An environmental pollution
report released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in April
showed that the rate of sick people in craft villages, especially among
working-age people, was increasing.
It also revealed that the
percentage of villagers who contracted skin and respiratory diseases, diarrhoea
and eyesores in craft villages was much higher than in non-craft villages.
The average life span of
residents in craft villages has decreased, currently 10 years lower than the
country’s average life span.
To tackle the problem, Ly
said it was essential to raise awareness among the people in craft villages
about protecting the environment for the sake of their health first.
"Besides, the State
should map out a plan for craft villages to develop sustainably, including
construction of waste treatment systems," he said.
police would also strictly punish those businesses and households in craft
villages who seriously polluted the environment," Ly added.
Under the environmental
protection laws, environmental polluters could be fined between VND100,000
(US$5.6) and VND500 million ($28,000) based on the severity of their
infringement, and they would be required to stop production until they take
measures to treat the pollution. — VNS