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The black industrial zones in Long An province
Rice fields are getting yellow and ragged in Duc Hoa district of Long An province, because they have been irrigated with the polluted waste water discharged from the industrial zones in the area.
Vietnam, environment, industrial zone, dust, workers, policy

Industry kills agriculture production

Le Thi Lan, a woman living near the Duc Hoa 1 Industrial Zone, said local residents have to live in environment for the last many years. On rainy days, they breathe with the pesticide odor. On sunny days, they are attacked by the terrible smell from the sewers in the area.

Nearly all the internal canals in the industrial zone have been full of garbage. On the Ranh canal, which is bordering HCM City, the water has turned black and given terrible smell, because it receives the waste water from the concentrated water drainage system of the Duc Hoa 2 Indusrial Zone.

The reporters, who arrived in the land and stayed there for three days, saw with their eyes the black smoke rising from the factories in the Duc Hoa 2 industrial zone both on daytime and at night.

The residents in My Hanh Bac commune said they have been breathing with the black smoke for the last many years. The smoke sometime is so thick that the smell of burning can reach out to the areas which are one kilometer far from the factories.

Waste water treatment systems left unused 

In the My Hanh Nam commune, some rice fields are getting yellow and ragged. Local residents said the rice fields have been irrigated with the water from Ranh canal. The canal had been feeding a lot of generations of local residents. It not only provided water for the rice fields, but also provided shrimps and fishes.

However, it has turned to a black canal for the last 6-7 years, since the day the Hoang Gia Industrial Zone and some painting companies nearby began operation. Local residents have many times entreated for help from the local authorities, but they have never received any reply.

Bui Van Long, a farmer in Moi Hamlet No. 2, said local farmers always have bad harvest because of the lack of water. “We have to water the rice fields with the black polluted water. A tortoise farm has to shut down because of no water,” he said.

In fact, there was once a concentrated waste water treatment system in Hoang Gia industrial zone. However, what people can see on the site shows that the system has stopped working for a long time.

Who to blame?

A senior official of the Long An provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment affirmed that it is the Long An Economic Zone Board of Management (LAEZA) which needs to take responsibility for the environment management.

Meanwhile, Phan Thanh Phi, Head of the board of management, has affirmed that the waste water from concentrated waste water treatment plants must be put under the control of the environment department. Meanwhile, LAEZA only takes care for the waste water discharged from factories to the concentrated waste water treatment systems.

Especially, LAEZA does not have the right to release the decision on impose fines on violators, while it can report the cases to competent agencies.

In December 2012, Tongye China Company in Duc Hoa 2 industrial zone was fined VND145 million dong for discharging the fumes and dusts higher by five times than the allowed level.

Thien Nhien

(1/11/2013 4:07:45 PM)

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