Gia Lai suffers from waste pollution

GIA LAI (VNS) — Residents in An Khe Town's Thanh An Commune in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai said they were affected by the stench and waste water from a Gia Lai Livestock Joint Stock Company cow farm.

Nguyen Huu Quang, who lives in Thanh An Commune's Village 3, said the waste water discharged from the farm had flowed into canals and to the Ba River.

The situation worsened when it rained as waste water from the farm spread to rice cultivation areas and fish ponds.

Due to water contamination, all the fish in his 3-ha pond died. His family also lost about 40 per cent of their rice yield, he said.

Nguyen Duy Hung, vice chairman of Thanh An Commune's People Committee, said the Gia Lai Livestock JSC cow farm was granted licence by the provincial authorities and began construction last year. The farm has an area of 70ha and is raising 7,500 beef cows.

Since the farm went into operation in March, many problems had arisen especially environmental pollution, affecting the lives of local residents, he said.

"Many families living next to the cow farm had to hang mosquito nets while eating due to the appearance of more and more flies," Hung told the Voice of Viet Nam (VOV).

Local authorities and residents have repeatedly complained to relevant agencies, however, the situation has not yet improved.

Thousands of households in An Khe Town who live along the Ba River have also felt the impact of waste pollution.

Residents in the town, who use water from An Khe Water Supplying company, said the water had an unpleasant smell for months.

Do Tuan Diep, head of management board of An Khe Water Supplying Company said they discovered that the water taken from Ba River was seriously polluted since the beginning of October.

Thousands of cubic metres of water were pumped from the River into water storage and treated before supplying households and offices in the township.

Recognising that the water might pose health risks, the management board proposed that agencies temporarily stop the water supply. However, their proposal had not yet been realised as it would affect the daily lives of 2,300 households who rely on that source of water.

Dang Thi Yen, head of An Khe Town's Natural Resources and Environment Department, said upon receiving complaints from local residents, the department had worked with relevant agencies to conduct a fact-finding visit to the farm.

Apart from the cow farm in An Khe Town polluting the environment, the company's other farms in Gia Lai province had problems as well.

Le Dinh Vu, Director of Gia Lai Livestock JSC admitted that a number of the company's cattle farms were polluting and damaging the crops and fish ponds of local people.

He said, as a result of heavy rain, too much water flows into the waste water treatment tanks causing overflow, with waste water spilling into gardens in Mang Yang district.

The company had co-operated with local authorities to resolve the pollution as well as offer adequate compensation for farmers, he said.

Regarding the farm in An Khe town, Vu said, the company had not developed a waste disposal system, adding that it was waiting for the approval of a report on environmental impact assessment before adopting measures to reduce pollution. — VNS

Source URL: Vietnam News