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HCM City spends big money to dredge 15 polluted canals

Last update: 08:10 | 10/08/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - The HCMC flood control center plans to dredge and clear 15 canals in districts 8, Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon to mitigate pollution. Estimated cost is VND200 billion with total length of ditches and canals 64 kilometers.


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When reporters visited Binh Chanh district on August 2-3, they saw an inky-black Canal C running across Tan Nhut and Le Minh Xuan communes. Water hyacinths covered the entire surface of the canal, and the canal’s banks were full of plastic bags and garbage.

Le Thi My Xuan, a local woman, told reporters that the canal was better on that day than other days, because it rained the day before. “The odor will be terrible in the sun. There will be dead animals as well,” she said.

Xuan said that production workshops that recycle plastics and pig farms that discharge waste water directly into the canal were the causes of the polluted water.

The HCMC flood control center plans to dredge and clear 15 canals in districts 8, Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon to mitigate pollution. Estimated cost is VND200 billion with total length of ditches and canals 64 kilometers.

B Canal nearby was in the same situation: the water was black and the canal sides full of garbage. Nguyen Van Tu from Le Minh Xuan commune said five years ago the canal was clean enough for fish to live.

“People could catch fish for meals on the canal. And they could have a bath. But since the day the industrial zone was set up, the water has turned black,” he said.

“To test the toxicity of the chemicals discharged in the canal, some men dropped fish into it. The fish died after 5-10 minutes and rose to the surface,” he said.

“When the northeast wind comes, in the months between November and April, the odor is terrible. We can smell the chemicals used to make chili and dyed fabric,” he said. 

In Vinh Loc B commune, the Cau Suoi canal was in a worse situation. The 3 kilometer canal was full of garbage, dead animals and hyacinths. The houses nearby shut doors and windows day and night to avoid the bad odor.

In February, 1,000 young men in the locality joined a campaign to clean the area, but everything returned to the original state after some days.

Luong Bach, a local man in Binh Hung commune, said he heard that the city’s authorities last year spent money to dredge the 7 kilometer Ba Lon canal to ease floods and pollution in the southern part of the city.

“There is no further news about the dredging. We don’t know how long we will have to live with such terrible pollution,” he said.


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Kim Chi

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