Village blighted by polluted water

Update: August, 24/2015 - 09:19

Chuong My District's Lung Vi village is polluted by waste waster from nearby slaughter houses and milk and beer factories. Hundreds of households in the village have to drink, wash and cook using polluted water. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — For over ten years, hundreds of households in Chuong My District's Lung Vi village have had to drink, wash and cook using polluted water.

Today, it is not difficult to see the black, foul-smelling water in the ponds and canals that surround the village. Even the wells, the main water source for the daily use of residents, have turned yellowish.

Nguyen Thi Huong, a local resident, told Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper that she and her family use the water for daily cooking and washing.

"This is the second well we have dug. It gives us black water and has a bad smell. We try to clean the water by putting it through a filtration system. But, it does not help much," Huong said.

"But, we still have to use it because we have no choice," she added.

Another resident said that white clothing turns yellow after it is washed in the local water.

A large amount of untreated waste water from small factories, farms, slaughterhouses and handicraft workshops flow towards Lung Vi before running into the fields, said Phan Ngoc Huan, deputy chairman of Dong Phuong Yen commune's People Committee, according to Thoi bao kinh doanh (Business Times).

Though it is located only about 30km from Ha Noi, Lung Vi village is still in need of clean water.

Huan said Lung Vi had a traditional handicraft industry. During the process of producing rattan and bamboo products, a large number of chemicals for dye and sulphur for preserving products are used, according to the chairman.

The chemicals and untreated waste water were reported to have contaminated water resources across the village.

Local authorities had asked farms, factories and workshops to draw up plans to deal with the pollution, but it continued due to poor public awareness among local residents, Huan said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment indicate that Lung Vi village is among the ten places which are the most affected by chemical run-offs.

Resident here remain worried about their own health, especially after reports of a high number of skin and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer cases, in the region.

Phan Ngoc Kien, head of the village, told Thoi bao kinh doanh that six to seven residents died of cancer each year.

Even two to three died from cancer from a single family, Kien added.

They determined that the cause of diseases was the polluted water.

A resident said her children have had skin rashes for several years, which cannot be cured, and her father suffers from ulcers.

It is believed that her father contracted the ulcers after working on polluted rice fields for many years, she said.

Additionally, many families fall onto difficult times due to their family members suffering fatal diseases at young ages.

While there is no official report from the health department indicating that the polluted environment leads to an increase in cancer among residents in the village, still, clean water is seen as a luxury to residents here.

Local authorities introduced many temporary measures, such as using water filtration machines and building basins to collect clean water, Kien said.

Further, the communal committee has proposed a project to the Chuong My District's Natural Resources and Environment Department to build a clean water plant for Lung Vi village, according to Tran Van Tien, chairman of the commune.

And it is likely that the situation will not be completely rectified until a plant is built. Work on a water plant is expected to begin by the end of this year. — VNS