Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vietnamese Updates: Saving rivers and lakes of Hanoi – responsibility of all individuals! (10 May 2013)

Saving rivers and lakes of Hanoi – responsibility of all individuals!

Thứ sáu, ngày 10 tháng 05 năm 2013 cập nhật lúc 04:11

Hanoi can be understood as "the River City", due to the fact that the four sides of Hanoi are surrounded by large rivers such as To Lich river, Lu river, Set river, Kim Nguu river and Nhue river... However, at the moment, most of these rivers are contaminated.  It is difficult for a  "green capital" to be shaped when the lakes are shrinking and darkening because of garbage and other pollution sources.
The rivers are "dying"

According to statistics by the Center for Environmental Research & Community in 2010, there are 120 lakes, ponds, and marshes in various sizes in six districts of Hanoi. Most of the lakes are polluted with organic substance. 71% of lakes in Hanoi possess biochemical factors that are beyond the permitted standard, in which 14% is full of organic chemical pollutants, 25% is under severe polluted condition and 32% shows sign of contamination.

The severe pollution situation in Lich River has lasted many years and so far, which is still the unsolved problem of the authorities. Lich River is where the rainfall and all sorts of untreated sewage of the city (domestic sewage, hospital sewage, industrial waste water...) and the dirty water from the river Taurus, Lu River flow to.

Set river, which flows through Bach Khoa and Truong Dinh district also suffered the same situation as To Lich River. Over the years, the riverbed has gradually grown shallow, thick, dark and always evaporates stinky smell...
According to an investigation by the Department of Natural Resources - Environment and Housing the total amount of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater in the urban area are estimated at ​​about 500,000 m3/day, which will drain through the drain system including the four rivers, namely To Lich, Lu, Set, Kim Nguu. The proportion of in the wastewater containing untreated contaminants from production activities, hospitals and service facilities accounts for 90% of industrial and service wastewater discharged into surface water. There are currently only 40 industrial establishments, 29 service establishments and 5 hospital having wastewater treatment plants in Hanoi. This has brought the river to extremely polluted condition.

Efforts to regenerate lakes
Hanoi authority has carried out measures and sought solutions to overcome environmental pollution in rivers and lakes around the city and improve the situation from the 80s of the last century. In addition, the United Nations has put forward aid projects to renovate To Lich River, mobilized thousands of youth and students in Hanoi to participate in the dredging and renovation of the river, turning it into a scenic spot serving tourism. Nevertheless, the work was left unfinished. Later, when the city and embanked and dredged the river, the pollution still remained unsettled for contaminated wastewater had not been treated. In 1954, the population of Hanoi city was only about 35 thousand hence wastewater and garbage were still rare. As it approached 21st century, the process of urbanization, population in Hanoi boosted rapidly while infrastructure could not be improved, sewage and garbage grew ever-ample, which results in the lakes’ insufficient capacity. On the other hand, untreated sewage dumped into the rivers is worsening the pollution.

For the time being, agencies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi DNRE are still striving to improve Lakes in Hanoi. Many sewage treatment plants have been built. Day River dredging project, renovation, upgrading the riverbed of Nhue River Nhue combined with traffic improvements, refurbishment and upgrading works on the have initially brought about practical results.

However, these measures have only limited a small amount of waste dumped into the river. The biggest difficulty is ensuring clean water without affecting the bio- diversity in the lakes. It is essential to consider preserving creature system which has lived hundreds, even thousands of years in the lake and ensuring the purity of untreated water poured directly into the lake daily. In addition, raising awareness about environmental protection for the people living around the lake is an important task that needs implementing soon.

According to Dr.Pham Sy Liem, Director of the Institute for Urban Research & Development Infrastructure, a club namely " Hanoi Lakes" should be established to call on notables, intellectuals, historians, writers, artists, business people, professionals environmental planners, architects and students ... to contribute their ideas and energy to protecting and restoring the lake system of Hanoi, urging participation and monitoring the implementation of projects related to the lakes. Protecting the lake system in Hanoi city is the responsibility of all citizens living in the capital of thousand years of civilization.



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