Tuesday , February 27 2024

Overflowing waste threatens coastal environment in south-central province

Waste accumulated at the Đông Hải Fishing Port, Đông Hải Ward, Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm City, Ninh Thuận Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành

NINH THUẬN — The amount of waste in rural and coastal residential areas in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận is increasing but it is not being regularly collected and dealt with, overwhelming the waste collection points.

Additionally, the still-rampant practice of dumping waste indiscriminately on embankments, canals and fishing ports is adversely affecting the local environment and people’s health.

The road leading to Hoà Thạnh Village, An Hải Commune (Ninh Phước District), for example, has become a ‘gathering place’ for more than 10 uncovered garbage trucks.

Various types of household waste, plastic bags, bottles, food and other discarded items pile up high, and sometimes they are picked up by the strong wind and scattered across the road, emitting a foul odour.

Mai Duy Luân, a local resident, said that some people would throw their garbage there on the way to work out of convenience, but sometimes they missed the bins completely and hardly anyone would bother to stop and put it in the proper place.

With the waste left unattended and not transported for disposal, the area becomes a filthy, fetid place that anyone passing by would only want to hurry up to get away as soon as they could, Luân said.

Some stretches of sea embankment hundreds of metres in length in Phú Thọ Village (Đông Hải Ward, Phan Rang – Tháp Chàm City) are also choked by the overflowing piles of household waste, used mattresses, clothing, discarded fishing nets, and the carcasses of dead animals.

The putrid smell attracts flies, and the pollution is spreading.

Tằng Tạm, a city resident who passes by this embankment daily, said that some people lacked environmental awareness and threw garbage onto the embankment without care.

Previously, when there were no wave-breaking structures, the waves would carry the waste out to sea, but now with the waste accumulating, the environment is deteriorating.

During the rainy season, this area becomes particularly foul-smelling.

People often come to the embankment to picnic, which further affects the environment.

In other coastal areas such as Nại Market (Ninh Hải District), Mỹ Đông and Đông Hải Ward (Phan Rang – Tháp Chàm City), waste has become a commonplace presence on many roads, beaches and harbour embankments.

Collection efforts from local authorities and environmental service companies can only do so much when people just keep on littering thoughtlessly.

Nguyễn Phạm Lưu Hiển, head of Đông Hải Fishing Port (Đông Hải Ward), explained that they continuously broadcast messages over the public address system, telling ship owners, businesses and residents operating in the port area to collect and dispose of waste at designated locations after unloading their products.

When environmental violations are detected, the port cooperates with Đông Hải Ward People’s Committee to enforce penalties in accordance with environmental regulations.

Violators are subject to fines ranging from VNĐ1-2 million (US$40.6-81.2) as stipulated in point d, item 2, article 25 of the Government Decree 45/2022/NĐ-CP on administrative penalties in the environmental protection sector.

Đặng Phú Khánh, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Đông Hải Ward, said that the local authorities would request more frequent waste collection to ensure environmental hygiene.

They would also place informative signs about environmental protection in areas at high risk of waste pollution, engage the community in raising awareness of preserving their living environment, and clearly announce penalties for littering and disposing of waste in violation of environmental regulations.

People could report or provide evidence of improper waste disposal causing environmental pollution, and the People’s Committee would handle the case in line with the laws.

Khánh said the port would start enforcing penalties against fishing boat owners and market traders in the port area who committed wrongdoings in wastewater and waste disposal, no longer simply issuing warnings.

The high pace of urbanisation, coupled with increased production and tourism activities, has been particularly straining on the environment in many rural and coastal areas.

To improve the quality of the living environment, the People’s Committee of Ninh Thuận Province has issued various directives instructing localities and relevant units to enhance the management, control and punishment of violations of environmental laws, especially cases involving the improper disposal of plastic waste, to ensure a clean and hygienic environment.

Localities are urged to cooperate with relevant units to carry out robust campaigns of waste collection and cleanups on the beaches and at residential areas with the involvement of the public. — VNS

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