Images: Hard-working scrap collectors in Saigon’s new urban area

VietNamNet Bridge – Iron scrap collectors in the Thu Thiem urban area in HCM City use many tools and machines to do their work. Their job is as hard as that of miners.


Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

The Thu Thiem new urban area project in District 2 is under site clearance and construction. At this large construction site, many houses have been dismantled while construction machines and dumpsters work busily, leaving iron and steel scraps, which are collected by the workers.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

They come from the southwestern province, Binh Duong, and also Ho Chi Minh City, carrying a tools such as metal detectors, hammers, spades, hoes, saws and others.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

To find the iron, metal detectors are indispensable.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

They smash concrete columns to take iron or steel core inside. Their job is no different than that of stonecutters or miners.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Many big and long chunks of concrete and beams are deep underground. They have to dig them out and saw them into small pieces and take them to the surface.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

A worker with a metal detector on one hand and a hoe in the other hand.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

When the metal detector sounds, there is a big iron piece underneath. They take hours to dig large holes, sometimes up to 2 m deep. Taking pieces of iron of several dozens of kilos off the ground is not easy.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

After more than one hour digging a hole on the Saigon River's bank (of the Thu Thiem new urban area), Nguyen Van Linh (60 years old, from An Khanh Ward, District 2) collects tens of kilos of scrap.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

In addition to metal pieces, they also find weapons. In the picture: An M16 rifle belt found on the bank of the Saigon River.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Under intense sunlight, after one hour of digging a hole of nearly 1 m deep, over 3 m wide, Mr. Dinh Xuan Hai (48 years old, from Binh Duong province) is able to remove the metal piece.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Pieces of iron and old cables weighing hundreds of kilos to those that are as small as a finger are collected and sold. The price is VND4,000/kg. "I can earn VND200,000-VND300,000 ($10-15) on average. On lucky days I have million dong or tens of thousands of dong on bad days," Linh said.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

The man in the photo is Hai. Every day, from early morning he drives a motorbike for about 40 kilometers to the Thu Thiem urban area to work. After a day of digging, he sells iron scraps to scrap traders and returns to his home in Binh Duong province. He has pursued this hard job for nearly 20 years.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Scrap collectors work under the scorching sun.

Mót sắt kỳ công ở khu đô thị mới Sài Gòn

Nguyen Van Chinh (48 years old, from District 2) said this work is hard but he feels comfortable because he works for himself. The Job has enabled him to support his five-member family for many years. “I will continue do this job until my children grow up," he said.





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Thu Thiem urban area, scrap collectors, HCM City
 
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