Quang Nam residents desperate for non-contaminated water

Last update 16:45 | 17/03/2018

Thousands of households in central Quang Nam Province have been thirsting for clean water for years as most of the wells are seriously contaminated with aluminum and few water supply works have been built to solve the problem.

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A resident’s filter tank central Quảng Nam Province’s Đại Minh Commune is full of dirt and smells due to alum contaminated water. – Photo baoquangnam.vn

Even when a water supply centre was built and put into operation, it only supplied a small number of households and provided an unstable water source.

In Đại Lộc District’s Đại Minh Commune, as many as 115 households have been living with seriously aluminum-contaminated water for years.

Lê Thị Nam, a resident of Phú Mỹ Village, told the online newspaper baoquangnam.vn that wells were their only water source as no water works had been built in their commune.

The wells had a yellowish colour and horrible smell.

Nam said she and other residents purchased clean water for drinking and used the contaminated water for other purposes.

Nguyễn Toản, another resident in the village, said he hired two workers to dig a well, but they had not found clean water even after digging more than 40m.

He said many households as well as his family paid VNĐ40-50 million (US$1,760 – $2,200) to dig a well, but the situation had not improved.

His five-square-metre filter tank was full of dirt, yellowish and smelly after a short time in use.

Nguyễn Định, a local well driller, said that it took him three to five days to dig a well with the depth of nearly 50m to get water, and even then the water was not clean.

Phan Minh Quang, deputy head of Đại Minh Commune’s People’s Committee’s agricultural development unit, said that local residents were very worried about the quality of water from wells, as most were substandard.

The committee reported the situation to the district and provincial authorities, and had invited businesses to invest in water supply works in the commune for the last three years. However, the cost was too high for local residents and there were no funds available for such works from the committee. Thus, local residents had to use contaminated water for their daily use.

Water work failure

Residents in Núi Thành District’s Tam Quang Commune were luckier. After a long time using dirty water, a clean water supply centre had been built to serve 3,600 households there.

Tam Quang Clean Water Centre, with investment capital of VNĐ9.2 billion, was put into use in 2014, but the water supply was only enough for 700 households.

Local residents complained that the water source was weak during the summer, especially in June and July, seriously affecting their agricultural production and farming.

Hoàng Ngọc Phong, head of the water centre, said that each month the centre could supply 3,000 cubic metres of water for households in four villages. The water could not reach those who lived in salt intrusion areas in Trung Toàn, Trung Xuân, An Tây and An Hải Tây villages.

Trương Văn Định, chairman of Tam Quang Commune’s People’s Committee, said that local residents had sent petitions to the provincial authority in the past three years to get the problem solved but received no replies.

Định said many local units, such as Marine Police Zone 2 and border soldiers in Kỳ Hà Port, faced the same situation.

In response, Lê Văn Dũng, director of the provincial Clean Water and Irrigation Consultancy Centre, said that the centre had received the complaints from residents.

But he was not sure when clean water would be supplied to these communes as the fund for the national programme on clean water and environmental hygiene by 2020 was out of money. Thus, none of projects would be carried out in the upcoming time. – VNS

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