Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — For the last 28 years, people from Hòa Khánh Nam Ward in the central city of Đà Nẵng have longed for the closure of Khánh Sơn landfill due to the severe pollution caused by the site.
Living near the largest dump in the city, residents got so fed up of the problem they took it upon themselves to obstruct the trucks carrying garbage to the dump. The last such incident happened on September 22 and 23.
Anger rose further after the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment in July announced that the Khánh Sơn dump would not be closed next year as previously planned.
Instead, the dump would be closed as soon as the city’s solid waste treatment plant is opened in 2022.
Chairman of Liên Chiểu District People’s Council Dương Thành Thị said that for years, people living in Hòa Khánh Nam Ward have complained about the dump and the pollution it caused.
“They send their complaints to the district authorities daily and we called on them to calm down and wait,” Thị said, adding that “the People’s Council now don’t know how to talk to their voters about the delay.”
Nguyễn Thị Hạnh, a local resident said that she really wanted to “invite” relevant agencies to come and stay at her house for a few days so they can understand how badly the pollution affects daily life.
“When the dump is moved is not as important as how its pollution is tackled now,” Hạnh said, desperate for measures to ease the “terrible smell” from the dump.
Nguyễn Thị Thành, another resident, said at a meeting between residents and the city’s leaders early this month that nearly 2,000 families in Khánh Sơn Ward lived with the obnoxious smell, dirt and wastewater leaking from the dump.
“People say that Đà Nẵng is a ’liveable city’, but thousands of us are living near the dump site, breathing polluted air. Is it fair to us?” she said.
Trần Thị Ngãi, also from Hòa Khánh Nam Ward, said that the dump is now a mountain of garbage and it cannot be removed overnight.
“We understand that. But we want city authorities to realise their commitment on when they’ll close the dump,” Ngãi said.
“The city planned to offer support for families living in affected areas including tuition fees for their children, environment fee exemptions and clean water but what we lose most is our health,” Ngãi said.
Vice chairman of Đà Nẵng City People’s Committee Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn said that the city must push back the deadline for the removal of Khánh Sơn Dump to 2022.
He said the city People’s Committee and People’s Council were considering the roadmap to close and remove the dump.
Last week, the city People’s Committee announced that the city would invest about VNĐ190 billion (US$8,200) to upgrade parts of Khánh Sơn landfill.
Without the upgrades, the dump will only be able to handle garbage until May 2020, while the landfill is supposed to continue operations until 2022 when the city’s solid waste treatment plant opens.
Khánh Sơn landfill receives over 900 tonnes of waste daily plus about 500-600 cu.m of wastewater leaking from the garbage. — VNS