KIEN GIANG (VNS) — Thousands of people in Kien Luong Town's Tam Thuoc Ward in this Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang have been suffering from the severe dust pollution of five cement factories for years.
The factories are Kien Giang Cement Factory, Ha Tien-Kien Giang Cement Factory and Ha Tien Cement Factory, each with a capacity of 82,000 to 200,000 tonnes per year; and Kien Luong Cement Factory and Holcim Cement Factory, each with a capacity of one million tonnes per year.
Most of the factories apparently failed to comply with environmental protection regulations.
"Dust can be seen everywhere. It even sticks to our bodies and creates much discomfort," said resident Nguyen Thi Ha.
She admitted having to repeatedly wash her face to remove the cement dust that kept sticking to her nose.
La Nhu Ty, another resident said: "I often collect about 300 to 400 grammes of cement dust on my house floor every night."
Cement dust was also blamed for the health problems of numerous residents, added Ty.
A representative of the ward agreed, noting that many residents; most of them cement factory workers, had died of cancer of either the lung, skin or nasopharynx since 2003.
Resident Tong Quang Quyen said all people at the ward were expecting concerned agencies to quickly solve the problem by either building a system to treat cement dust or doing something to restore the fresh air there.
Truong Minh Sang, head of the district natural resources and environment office, revealed that he had submitted a proposal for solving the problem to the provincial natural resources and environment department and Viet Nam Environment Administration. — VNS