VietNamNet Bridge – Industrial factories, workshops have been located in rural areas, bringing money and helping improve the living standards of local residents. However, they have to pay penalty for the money they receive today: more and more people die of cancer.
The Ninh Van commune in Hoa Lu district of Ninh Binh province is a 400-year-old stone fine arts craft village. There are some 60 enterprises in the commune, both big and small and 60 households who exploits and manipulate stones. It is estimated that some 2000 workers have been living on the career relating to stone.
Ninh Van’s local residents have to stay in dust all day long and live in ear splitting noise. Together with cement and fertilizer plants in the area, Ninh Van residents have been making contribution to poisoning their living environment.
The lives of local people have been improved considerably thanks to the fine art stone production. However, their health has been degrading.
Nguyen Yen Binh, Head of the commune’s healthcare center, said: “Ninh Van people are rich, but they are not happy. They earn much money, but live in pollution”.
In 2004-2012 alone, 109 people in Ninh Van commune died of cancer. Especially, in 2008, the number of people dead of cancer amounted to 32.7 percent. The percentage decreased slightly in 2010, but it was still high at 31.3 percent. In the last nine years, 25.5 percent of people died of cancer.
Binh believes that more people died because of the environment pollution and the dirty water they used. Factories produce smoke, dust and discharge untreated waste water to river, while stone workshops produce stone dust. All of them have seriously damaged the environment.
Ninh Van’s people have many times complained about the pollution to the local people’s councils, and to the provincial delegation of National Assembly’s deputies. However, state officials, who came to the locality to examine the environment, all came to a conclusion that the quality of the air in Ninh Van is still safe.
“They told us that the air is still fresh enough. But I believe that 100 people died of cancer is really abnormal,” Binh said.
Dinh Van Manh, a man in Phu Lang hamlet, said he knows this is a dangerous job, but he has no other job choice. “If I don’t take this job, I will have no money to feed my mouth,” he said.
Manh works as a hired worker for big owners and earns VND300,000 a day. He is planning to give up the job after six years of working.
While people in the Ninh Van stone village suffer from the stone dust, the people in Kinh Mon district of Hai Duong province, located not far from Ninh Van, have been living in the dust from cement plants and stone exploitation sites.
People there have been stunned when hearing that more and more people died of cancer. Since 2004, Minh Tan has had 101 people dead of the fatal disease. According to Tran Van Thieu, Head of the Healthcare center of Minh Tan town, estimated that 21 percent of people died of cancer, but he added that the actual percentage could be even higher.
Thieu said that cancer is the biggest reason behind the death of local residents, and more people died of cancer than people dying of traffic accidents.