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Bac Ninh now wealthier, but environment worse

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The craft villages in Bac Ninh province have become well off in the last 20 years. However, they have paid a heavy price for the wealth: the environment is seriously polluted.

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Bac Ninh is wealthier, but environment is worse


Dang Van Giang, head of Quan Do hamlet of Yen Phong district, recently received a call from a reporter and responded: “I am sorry. I am now busy cleaning sewers together with some young men. The early heavy rains flooded the hamlet with rubbish.”

Giang and his team met reporters after several hours of work. 

“Previously, rainwater went though sewers to the river. But now, as the sewers are full of garbage, the water drainage gets stuck,” he explained. 

“The sewers get obstructed because of the electric wires and scrap thrown away by local residents,” he said. 

According to Giang, one-fifth of households in Quan Do hamlet live on scrap trading and aluminum recycling. 

More than 20 years ago, locals began collecting scrap for preliminary treatment and sale or profit. Since 2010, tens of thousands of tons of waste materials, mostly electric wire and electronic components, have been collected and processed by Van Mon.

“Locals are getting well off thanks to scrap trading. This is an easy job now. They collect scrap metal and use machines to split iron and copper core, and then sell to merchants,” Giang said.

“Merchants will send trucks to collect all the scrap that people can provide,” he said.

Giang’s business success surprised reporters and guests. The simple job does not require technology or know-how, but can bring profits and improve the lives of many people.

Giang led one reporter to a field near the village. It was a 300 square meter area where villagers gathered waste which will be carried away by the district’s environment service companies. There was a fire in front of the landfill, producing thick columns of smoke.

“They (villagers) burn electric appliances, batteries, and electronic equipment to get copper and iron,” Giang said. “It is an anti-scientific measure.”

“We have been trying to persuade villagers not to do this. But the advice has been ignored,” he continued.

The burning of waste materials is harming the environment and people’s health. Giang and local officials took pictures of the fires and reported them to the local authorities, but it has not stopped.

What reporters saw in Quan Do Scrap Village is also happening in other craft villages of Bac Ninh. The provincial people’s committee reported that 80 percent of 62 craft villages in the province as reported in 2015 live in a polluted environment.



Source: Thien Nhien - VietNamNet

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