Scourge of mass fish deaths strikes again

Last update: 11:44 | 25/05/2017

VietNamNet Bridge – One morning at the end of April, Nguyen Van Phu, a resident in Nguyen Khe Commune, Ha Noi’s Dong Anh District, woke up shocked to find that the fish in Nguyen Khe Lagoon had died en mass.


Nguyen Khe Lagoon is heavily polluted. A wastewater treatment plant of the Nguyen Khe Commune’s industrial complex is under construction (small photo). - Photos

He suspected polluted water in the lagoon was the culprit, the Kinh Te Do Thi (Urban Economics) newspaper reported.

Nguyen Khe Lagoon is close to a small and medium-sized industrial complex which was put into operation in 2006. More than ten years since the zone was opened, it still doesn’t have a wastewater treatment system. All wastewater from the more than 20 enterprises using the zone is discharged into the lagoon.

Locals said they get headaches and feel dizzy if they stand by the lagoon filled with foul smelling black water for five minutes.

More than 600 local agricultural households depend on the lagoon water to water their vegetables and plants.

Nguyen Thi Lien, a local who grows more than 2,000sq.m of vegetables said that she has used water from the lagoon to irrigate vegetables for years. Despite knowing the water quality is declining, she has no other option.

Authorities’ responsibilities

Nguyen Manh Hong, deputy chairman of Nguyen Khe Commune’s People’s Committee confirmed that the wastewater from the factories resulted in the pollution. Local authorities have worked with authorised agencies to supervise the discharge. Learning of the pollution was a surprise to him, the official claimed.

Le Ngoc Dung, deputy head of natural resources and environment division of Dong Anh District said that all enterprises operating in the industrial zone have individual wastewater treatment systems.

However, he admitted that wastewater has been discharged directly to the lagoon over the years because there is no wastewater treatment plant for the whole complex.

The commune’s officials also told Kinh Te Do Thi that construction on a wastewater treatment station began in October last year and is ongoing.

Nguyen Van Minh, deputy director of project management board of Dong Anh District said that the project was handed over to the board’s control from industrial and export processing zone management board of Ha Noi.

The zone construction was divided into two phases-before and after 2012, he said.

When asked why the wastewater treatment plant was not built in the first phase, he said that according to the plan, the plant would be built in the second phase. Enterprises’ individual treatment systems will be connected to the plant.

At the district level, Nguyen Manh Quan, deputy chairman of Dong Anh District’s People’s Committee ordered companies operating in the industrial complex to finish the installation of a connecting system with the wastewater treatment plant no later than June this year. 


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