Polluted waste water causes 2,000 rivers to die

07:21 | 22/05/2018

VietNamNet BridgeMore than 2,000 large rivers with 10 kilometers or longer in Vietnam are being threatened by untreated waste water from households, industrial production and craft villages.

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Fish have died in Hai Duong province

The people farming fish in cages on Luc Dau, Kinh Thay and Thai Binh in Hai Duong province have shouted for help as their fish have died en masse because of polluted waste water discharged into rivers.

All of the 50 households farming fish in Nam Tan commune suffered from mass fish deaths with the loss estimated at VND1 billion for each household.

This is not the first time that Hai Duong fish have died en masse. And it is not the only locality where polluted rivers kill fish and harm people’s lives.

According to Hoang Van Bay, head of the Water Natural Resources Department, in Vietnam, there are three seriously polluted river basins – Cau River, Nhue-Day and Dong Nai.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MARD) are implementing plans to protect the water environment of the three rivers’ basins.

Meanwhile, Dao Trong Tu, a member of the Vietnam River Network, said all the rivers in Vietnam are in danger as a result of economic development.

“The Dong Nai River, for example, has extremely serious pollution. Bac Hung Hai River is also in the same situation,” Tu said.

Many rivers in Vietnam are polluted with organic matters, nutrients, pesticides and bacteria, thus harming the health of people living on the rivers’ basins when using water sources for daily life.

MONRE (the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment), which carried out a lot of water quality monitoring projects, found that many rivers in Vietnam are polluted with organic matters, nutrients, pesticides and bacteria, thus harming the health of people living on the rivers’ basins when using water sources for daily life.

When pumping water from the Nhue-Day river basin to irrigate fields in the last winter-spring crop, farmers saw floating foam as white as snow. This was attributed to domestic, industrial, agricultural and medical waste water, estimated at 800,000 cubic meters per day.

As the Nhue River has become seriously polluted, environmental incidents occur every year, including mass fish deaths.

According to Dinh Xuan Thong, deputy director of the Ha Nam provincial environment department, the pollution of Nhue and Day Rivers this year has worsened in previous years.

He said that though many measures have been taken, the treatment of waste water before it goes to Nhue and Day Rivers has not seen significant improvement. The indexes of water quality of the Nhue, Chau and Duy Tien Rivers in Hanoi are all substandard.

Chair of the Vietnam Association for Environmental Economics (VIASEE) Truong Manh Tien believes the problem lies in the unreasonable river network management. Rivers are controlled in accordance with administrative boundaries, but they need comprehensive management solutions.

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Mai Chi

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