Environmental pollution in a section of Bac Hung Hai River flowing through northern Hung Yen Province’s Yen My District has damaged local people’s health and daily life.
The river flows through three provinces of Hung Yen, Bac Ninh and Hai Duong.
The river’s main purpose is to irrigate thousands of hectares of agricultural land in these provinces.
But, it has been catching thousands of cubic metres of waste water from provinces and the southeast area of Ha Noi. Therefore, the water environment of Bac Hung Hai River has been seriously polluted for five years.
Hung Yen Province’s environmental management office estimated an additional 300,000 cubic metres of waste water from factories and handicraft villages on both sides poured into the river every day.
In recent days, the river pollution has become more serious due to the increasing volume of waste water, causing much annoyance to local people.
Nguyen Thi Men, 55, living close to Long Vi Bridge, said dead fish float on the surface of the river.
She said the river water is black colour all year round.
“Residents living round the river and passers-by sniff smelly and fishy water. I close the door and cover windows with canvas. Children and women wear masks the whole day,” she said.
“We often have to breathe in toxic air. The smell fills the house and almost stifles the children. They are affected by rhinitis and pharyngitis. I suffer from headaches regularly,” said said.
A vendor near Long Vi Bridge, Nguyen Thi Lien, said river environmental pollution not only damaged health, but also threatening local residents’ trade and livelihood.
The route linking Thanh Long Commune with inter-district roads is crowded so small businesses are normally busy. But, customers are decreasing due to the smelly environment.
Do Van Sau, deputy chairman of Thanh Long Commune People’s Committee said it has received complaints about river pollution from local people. “We have called on local villagers to not throw rubbish into the river,” he said. “Local authorities have no solution for improving the river environment.”
Le Thi Hoa, deputy chief of Yen My District’s natural resources and environment department said that hearing complaints, he informed the Government’s environmental pollution-related management offices about the river’s worst circumstance “to start co-ordination for water sampling analysis and examination.” Hung Yen Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment has taken water sampling for analysis. The results showed the quality of the river water didn’t meet the national standard.
Tran Dang Anh, department’s deputy director said Bac Hung Hai river’s pollution is occurring not only Thanh Long Commune, but also in all areas where it flows.
“We need close co-ordination between central and local environmental management offices to implement all steps, such as doing environmental monitoring activities, investigation and surveys on pollution levels to build solutions and water environmental improvement projects for the Bac Hung Hai River,” he said