Nghe An: Alarm raised over pollution at craft villages

Economy, Vietnam, Vietnam Finance News
Steam drying kilns full of anchovies in Phu Loi craft village in Hoang Mai district are polluting the environment. (Photo: danviet.v)

Nghe An (VNS/VNA) –
pollution in some craft villages, especially food processing villages in the
central province of Nghe An, has gotten worse. It not only affects the local
communities but also raises concerns over food safety.

For many years, steam drying kilns full of
anchovies in Phu Loi craft village in Hoang Mai district have caused pollution,
with untreated waste discharged directly into nearby Mai Giang River.

“Recently, there are many more steam kilns drying
anchovies, with the strong stench getting worse. Many surrounding households
have to close their doors, while the Mai Giang River becomes dirty with
discharged water,” Phu Loi villager Tran Van Hau said.

Another resident of Quynh Di commune Tran Thi Van
complained about the smell of fish on the side of provincial road 537B.

“There are sometimes dozens of tonnes of fish
piled here, attracting a lot of flies,” Van said.

Quynh Di commune authorities have repeatedly coordinated
to examine and prompt local businesses to solve the issue but they have not
complied with the environmental sanitation process.

In Huynh Duong village in Dien Chau district,
nearly 300 households specialise in making vermicelli noodles. They produce
about 10 tonnes of vermicelli every day, creating jobs for hundreds of local
workers. Every day thousands of litres of untreated wastewater is discharged
straight into the fields, causing a bad smell in hot weather.

Many people in the village said although they
closed their doors, the unbearable stench still creeps into the house. In
recent years, the environmental pollution in Huynh Duong village has impacted
agricultural production, meaning many paddy areas are unable to grow rice.

Some residents of Huynh Duong village and neighbouring
villages repeatedly petitioned local authorities but are still without a

Phan Huy Ngan, Chairman of the Dien Quang Commune
People’s Committee, said it was hard to ask local people to spend tens of
millions of dong to treat sewage.

“The local authorities can encourage people to
cover drainage ditches to reduce the smell, but there is no better
solution,” he said.

According to Dinh Sy Khanh Vinh, Deputy Director
of the Nghe An Environmental Protection Sub-department, the pollution from
craft villages is alarming, especially those producing noodles, cake and

In Nghe An province, there are 153 craft villages,
of which villages processing seafood in Quynh Di, Quynh Luu and Dien Ngoc are
causing serious pollution.

“It’s very difficult to solve because there is no
capital to buy machinery and equipment. The department has set up projects, but
the capital is not available,” he said.

Thai Van Nong, Deputy Director of the provincial Department
of Natural Resources and Environment, said that building and operating
environmental protection facilities requires a lot of capital, while the local
budget was limited.

“Calling for investment in the form of social
mobilisation from private sources is not effective as businesses also have
difficulties in capital,” he said.

“Departments should focus on guiding the
application of advanced, environmentally-friendly technologies; apply cleaner
production and technical solutions to handle the environmental issues for the
craft villages to operate sustainably,” he added.-VNS/VNA


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