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Pollution threatens lives of thousands of workers in Dong Nai

VietNamNet Bridge - Tens of thousands of factory workers have been living, eating and washing next to a ‘black stream’ for the last 10 years.
VietNamNet Bridge - Tens of thousands of factory workers have been living, eating and washing next to a ‘black stream’ for the last 10 years.


According to the Dong Nai provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Nhon Trach 1 Industrial Zone (IZ) discharges 4,300 cubic meters of treated waste water everyday.

However, before reaching the Thi Vai River, the waste is brought by the black open canal through Hamlet 3 of Hiep Phuoc commune, where 800 boarding houses for factory workers are located.

The section of stream running across Hiep Phuoc commune of Nhon Trach district, about one kilometer long, originated from the Nhon Trach 1 IZ has been emitting a bad odor for a long time. Along the polluted stream, there are many boarding houses for workers, all in bad conditions.

Nguyen Tan Duoc, head of hamlet 3, said local people many times have reported the case to local authorities for many years, but no improvement has been made so far.

Since the local authorities turned a deaf ear, local people tried to shout for help from the public by posting video clips on social networks.

Tens of thousands of factory workers have been living, eating and washing next to a ‘black stream’ for the last 10 years.
Truong Xuan Tien, a local man, said people have not had fresh air in 10 years, since the day the waste water treatment plant in Nhon Trach 1 IZ became operational.

“The odor is terrible. Sometimes the waste water looks yellow, but it is black at other times, like waste motor oil,” he said.

Tens of thousands of individuals suffer. The area is densely populated because migrant workers like living there, as it is near factories in IZs. 99 percent of people living in rented rooms in Hiep Phuoc commune are factory workers.

Pham Thi Dao in Hiep Phuoc commune said that her family members and 50 workers living in rented rooms now use water from a drilled well next to the polluted stream. Though they are worried about the water quality, they still have to use it everyday.

Le Thu Mai, a worker in Nhon Trach 1, said she breathes the polluted air all day long, at the factory during the working shifts, and at home in the evening.

Mai said she has been warned about diseases when using water from drilled wells, but the modest pay she receives from her job is not high enough to cover expenses on clean water.

According to Vo Tai Hung, secretary of the Hiep Phuoc commune’s Party Committee, there is a project on building a culvert to settle the problem, capitalized at VND10 billion. However, the project has not been implemented due to slow disbursement.

Lao Dong


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