Dozens of raft houses around the Dầu Tiếng Lake are potential causes of water pollution. — VNA/VNS Photo Huyền Trang
BÌNH DƯƠNG — Many households have come to raise fish and live on rafts on the reservoir of the Dầu Tiếng Lake, polluting the water resources over the years.
Dầu Tiếng is the largest artificial irrigation lake in Southeast Asia and provides agricultural water sources for the southeast area, and domestic water for HCM City.
Living on Dầu Tiếng Lake in Hòa Lộc Hamlet, Minh Hòa Commune, Dầu Tiếng District in the southern province of Bình Dương, are nearly 70 overseas Vietnamese households that repatriated from Cambodia.
They mainly live on the edge of the lake, building huts or temporary houses in the lake’s reservoir area to make a living.
Nguyễn Văn Đỏ, a resident, said most of the households returned to Việt Nam in 1990. Đỏ has Vietnamese nationality, so he bought land and built a house, but many others do not have identity documents or real estate assets.
Nguyễn Văn Cường, another resident, said every day he fished for a living. Due to a lack of identification documents and education, he could not find a good job.
Some local people think raising fish will not affect the environment. But local authorities believe uneaten food, waste, dead fish and domestic waste are the main cause of the water pollution in the lake.
Some households use nets to catch small fish as food for farmed fish, leading to the danger of destroying aquatic resources.
To avoid environmental pollution and limit social evils, in early 2004, local authorities encouraged people to come ashore. About 25 families moved and built houses. However, the land area is limited, so it’s not enough to accommodate everyone and dozens of households still live on rafts.
Lê Bá Thành, deputy head of the Dầu Tiếng District Police, said the district police force has made a list of people living on rafts in Minh Hòa Commune.
Currently, there are 56 households in the village with 292 people. Local authorities are going to prepare identity papers for 14 households.
The work needs support from various local departments, said Thành.
A spokesperson of the Dầu Tiếng-Phước Hòa Irrigation Exploitation Co Ltd said it also proposed Tây Ninh and Bình Dương people's committees implement a resettlement and career change project for local people.
In 2018, the company had worked with the Dầu Tiếng District People's Committee to issue violation records to 76 households with 236 illegal rafts, asking them to dismantle the rafts and leave but so far the issue has not been thoroughly resolved. — VNS