KHANH HOA— Residents in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa have been suffering from high levels of pollution caused by hundreds of unregistered manufacturers operating in populated areas, according to the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper.
Reports from the Khanh Hoa Department of Environment and Natural Resources pointed out that 246 private factories, responsible for the pollution, manufacture bricks, seafood, fish sauce, and other items and are located in built-up areas across the province.
Also, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade has conducted random environmental inspections at some 29 manufacturers in the province.
The results of these inspections revealed that the permitted noise and dust pollution levels were exceeded by amounts up to twice the permitted levels of pollution.
Noise and dust pollution were mostly found in rice milling, textiles, charcoal factories and traditional brickyards in the province.
“Fumes, dust and noise pollution coming from brickyards disturb our daily lives. Many residents have contracted respiratory infections and skin allergies,” complained a Phuoc Lam village resident, Nguyen Tinh.
Some 50 to 60 private slaughterhouses, located in built-up areas in Nha Trang city, failed to meet safety standards, with coliform bacillus levels reaching some 4800×106 times higher than the permitted levels. Further, the BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) level in the slaughterhouses exceeded the permitted level by 13,1 times.
Despite being installed with a wastewater treatment system, dozens of seafood and fish sauce factories in Nha Trang and Cam Ranh cities continue to be the sources of serious environmental pollution to neighbouring areas. Officials note that the wastewater pollution level in Dai Cat Co., Ltd was found to exceed the permitted level by up to 2.2 million times.
Khanh Hoa People’s Committee has submitted a report to the municipal People’s Assembly on the relocation of private manufacturers that release pollution to the province’s industrial zones. But the plan was not approved due to obstacles in procedures and a shortage of funds.
The People’s Committee has also called upon those brickyards causing pollution in Dien Khanh, Cam Lam and Van Ninh districts, and Ninh Hoa town, including Ninh Phung and Ninh Xuan communes, to shut down in June. No sign of the close-down till now.
However, Ninh Xuan Commune People’s Committee Vice President Vo Huong said about one thousand workers would become unemployed if all traditional brickyards in the commune were shut down.
He added that an upgrading of technology at the brickyards to manage the pollution would cost a very large amount of money, and “less than 15 per cent of the brickyards can afford to upgrade their technology “.
“The province administration has to offer support in career changes for the residents when the brickyards are shut down and help them resettle as soon as possible”, noted Huong.