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Overloaded landfill risks contaminating water supply

Update: August, 12/2017 - 09:00
Ngọc Sơn dumping site in the Nghệ An central province has been overloaded for years, polluting residential areas and threatening to contaminate a nearby reservoir. — Photo
Viet Nam News

NGHỆ AN — The Ngọc Sơn dumping site, the sole collection point for waste generated by thousands of households in Nghệ An central province, has been overloaded for a couple of years, polluting residential areas and threatening to contaminate a nearby reservoir.

In 2012, Ngọc Sơn dumping site was put into use in Quỳnh Lưu District’s Ngọc Sơn Commune. The site was built on an area of about 500sq.m and comprised of three zones for garbage and two for waste water.

Each day, roughly 40-50 tonnes of refuse from 32 communes was discharged into the dumping site. Over the past three years, the volume of garbage has increased remarkably, and a large amount of waste has been left unburied, causing serious pollution.

Đặng Quang Tuấn, a resident of Village 5 in Ngọc Sơn Commune said his house was 500 metres from the landfill. His family suffered from the horrible smell and abundance of flies.

“Flies and mosquitoes are everywhere no matter how hard I’ve try to kill them. This is such a terrible situation,” he said.

The other 160 households in the commune suffer similar consequences.

Reporters saw that the landfill had been temporarily surrounded by barbed wire and concrete pillars. The lighting system had been switched off due to a power shortage. Piles of garbage remained unburied, discharging noxious black water.

Hồ Văn Lập, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, said that the committee has received complaints from local residents.

He said it was unavoidable that those living near the landfill had to suffer pollution, adding that authorised agencies would have measures to evaluate and curb excess pollution.

What has caused even more worry for local residents is that the dumping site was built near An Ngãi Reservoir, which supplies water for hundreds of households in Quỳnh Tân Commune.

Đậu Thị Tiến, resident of Village 5 in Quỳnh Tân Commune said that most households had wells to get water from the reservoir for daily use and agricultural production.

“We’re really concerned that the overloaded dumping site will seriously contaminate the water source,” she said.

Tiến said local residents have reported the situation to authorised agencies and asked them to move the landfill, but received no response.

An Ngãi Reservoir was built 50 years ago, supplying water for more than 10,660 people in ten villages of Quỳnh Tân Commune for daily use and shrimp cultivation.

Hồ Ngọc Thái, director of Thái Bình Nguyên Co Ltd – the unit in charge of gathering and burying garbage of the district, said that the amount of garbage was about 40 times the designed capacity, leading to uncontrolled waste water from the refuse.

Addressing the issue, Hồ Ngọc Dũng, vice chairman of Quỳnh Lưu District’s People’s Committee, said that the committee was examining the issue and coming up with solutions for the problem.

It would clarify the responsibilities of those involved for causing the pollution, he said. — VNS



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