Environment in rural areas seriously polluted, but poorly treated
VietNamNet Bridge - The pollution in rural areas is reaching alarming levels, but not much work has been done to settle it because of the lack of money.

 


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There are many reasons behind the pollution in rural areas - outdated customs and habits, the lack of running water, a lack of land fund to relocate cattle sheds, and cemeteries. 

A report shows that up to 5 percent of households, especially in the Northern Mountains, Central Highlands and the North Central Coast, do not have toilets, and 12 percent of households, mostly in the southern part of Mekong Delta, have latrines on fish ponds.

There are many reasons behind the pollution in rural areas - outdated customs and habits, the lack of running water, a lack of land fund to relocate cattle sheds, and cemeteries. 

The pollution is getting more serious because of the unreasonable use of plant protection chemicals. Only a small percentage of pesticides are used for appropriate purposes or to kill pestilent insects, while the remaining either evaporates into air or absorbs into the earth, polluting underground water.

A report from the Plant Protection Agency showed that Vietnam every year imports 70,000-116,000 tons of plant protection chemical products. The packaging of the products, accounting for 10 percent, or tens of thousands of tons, is left everywhere, from canals to country lanes, polluting surface and underground water, the air and threatening community health.

Livestock farming produces 82 million tons of solid waste a year, but only 60 percent  can be treated, while the remaining is discharged directly to the environment. 

Waste water treatment systems are not set up in most aquaculture areas and waste cannot be properly treated before going to the environment.

Every year, 13 million tons of domestic garbage,1.3 million cubic meters of domestic waste water and 7,500 tons of pesticide packing are generated in rural area. About 80 percent of the garbage and waste water and most pesticide packaging volume cannot be collected for hygienic treatment.

In suburban areas and densely populated areas, the collection and treatment of solid waste are meeting big challenges. Only domestic garbage can be collected and treated. For hazardous and undecomposable waste, in suburban areas, 80 percent of the waste of this kind is collected, but the figure is only 10 percent in remote areas.

Experts said to settle the environmental problems in rural areas, there must be  organizations which collect and treat waste as a social service; reasonable policies to call for investment; modern waste treatment technologies; and a budget for collection and treatment.

In cities, urban environment service companies are state-owned enterprises of public interest which run with 80 percent of funding from the state. Meanwhile, in rural areas, the companies run with fees paid by people; cleaners’ income is just equal to 30-40 percent of that in urban areas.


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Thanh Lich

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