Authorities ignore cry for help from residents in ‘cancer village”

VietNamNet Bridge – Residents who live in a village with many cancer cases complained at a workshop held in Hanoi on November 27 that their living environment was unsafe due to serious pollution.

cancer village, Nicotex Thanh Thai Company,  Thach Son cancer village

Le Anh Son from Cam Thuy district of Thanh Hoa province, where Nicotex Thanh Thai Company has been reportedly concealing tons of toxic chemicals under the earth, said he had been threatened since the day he discovered the chemicals and reported it to authorities.

“I usually receive menacing calls; some people have threatened to kill me or cut off my legs and hands,” he said.

Cat Van Quan from Yen Dinh district of Thanh Hoa province urgently called on state management agencies and science organizations to help the 30,000 people in the area who suffer from illness.

“A lot of people are at K Hospital (K is the name of the Central Cancer Hospital in Hanoi), and many others are waiting to die,” Quan said. “Who will come and rescue us?”

Observers said the residents do not feel protected by the local authorities and relevant agencies. The people have to endure pain in the polluted living environments, or their lives will be threatened.

Coming from the Thach Son cancer village in Phu Tho province, Quang Van Loc, who is the head of the commune’s healthcare center, said his village had been called “cancer village” over the last 20 years.

Loc said in 1995-2005, 351 people died, including 90 deaths due to cancer.

“I know families whose members died of cancer: grandfather, grandmother, father and two sons. Other families had four members who died of cancer,” he said.

“Most recently, a man in my village died of cancer and his wife died five months later also because of cancer,” he said.

He cited a report of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment as saying that 37 “cancer villages” were recorded in a 2012 survey.

Meanwhile, according to K Hospital, in the last five years, about 150,000 cancer cases are discovered every year and 70,000 people die of cancer, double the figure of  previous years.

A survey by PanNature showed that residents living in polluted areas suffer the most from pollution. Meanwhile, another report showed that 50 percent of the medical treatment fees are paid by the people themselves.

Dan Viet

cancer village, Nicotex Thanh Thai Company, Thach Son cancer village