Cần Thơ City’s resettlement residents have no access to water, electricity

July 11, 2022 - 08:43
Many families in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ who were relocated more than ten years ago for an industrial zone construction project, still have no access to fresh water or electricity.

Phan Văn Nghĩa, a resident in the resettlement area in Hưng Phú Industrial Zone No1 has to pump river water and store it in containers. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liêm

HÀ NỘI — Many families in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ who were relocated more than ten years ago for an industrial zone construction project, still have no access to fresh water or electricity.

A total of 24 families moved to the resettlement area for the construction of Hưng Phú No1 Industrial Zone in Cần Thơ City more than a decade ago.

They live near Tân Phú Residential Area in Cái Răng District with many abandoned houses overgrown with weeds.

At first people have to dig wells or pump water from the river nearby for daily use as there is no clean water.

Ten years later, things have not improved.

Dương Thị Huệ, 72-year-old resident said she gave up her land and built two houses in the resettlement area invested by Sài Gòn-Cần Thơ Industrial Park Joint Stock Company.

But she had no idea that after ten years conditions would still be so bad.

Twice a day, Huệ had to turn on the electric circuit breaker to pump water from the Bến Bạ River.

The water from the river is cloudy and could only be used to wash dishes and clothes. She had to buy a 20-litre bottle for cooking and drinking, spending a lot of money each month just on fresh water.

In order to get electricity, her husband Phan Văn Nghĩa has had to connect cables to a relative’s property.

Nghĩa said he prepared a place for the installation of electronic meters, but there was no way to get power from the national grid.

Nguyễn Văn Rum, a 53-year-old resident said his newly-built house was equipped with electric household appliances such as television, refrigerator and washing machine.

To be able to operate these machines, Rum bought 200m of wire to connect electricity from his old house.

“The electricity is very weak. Every time it flickers, I have to unplug a machine to use another one,” Rum said.

22 other households are facing the same situation.

Nguyễn Văn Rum, a 53-year-old resident said he has to unplug a machine to be able to use another one due to weak eletricity. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liêm

Apart from the lack of electricity and water shortages, the resettlement area has no lights, roads, trees, or a sewage system. Families have repeatedly reported the situation to local authorities, but nothing has changed.

The resettlement area opened for use in 2007. There were 47 families eligible to move to the area, but only 24 moved in.

According to the Cái Răng District’s Project Management Board, the process of implementing the resettlement area has encountered many difficulties and progress was very slow because the investor did not have finances.

The delay in completing the infrastructure has led to the delay of granting land use certificates for these families.

In March this year, Cần Thơ City’s People's Committee sent an official document to urge the investor to complete the project by the second quarter of this year.

However, the investor failed to do so.

The Management Board said the city's Department of Construction would work with relevant units to revoke the project and assign it to another investor.

Nguyễn Quốc Huấn, Deputy Head of the district’s Urban Management Office said that the project of resettlement area in Hưng Phú Industrial Park No1 remained unfinished and has not been handed over to the district.

The district authority has required the investor to urgently complete the construction of infrastructure to ensure people’s daily activities. If the investor fails to do so, the district would surely revoke the project as stipulated, he said. — VNS