The black canals in HCM City
VietNamNet Bridge - HCMC has 2,000 kilometers of drainage canals, more than 100,000 manholes and 800 discharge outlets. However, uncontrolled littering has nearly neutralized the drainage system, according to the city’s environment department.


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Garbage, industrial waste water and domestic waste water discharged directly into the environment without any treatment has been seriously polluting the canals in Binh Chanh district.

Vinh Loc A and Vinh Loc B are two communes which have experienced rapid urbanization in the last few years. Many open canals in the localities have been filled up during the process. Meanwhile, production workshops and animal husbandry units still exist.

In Vinh Loc A, 21 production workshops and 300 animal farms are seriously polluting the environment. In Vinh Loc B, 12 workshops and 53 farms are located in residential quarters. With the high density of population (there are 100,000 people in each commune), it is very difficult to control the waste discharge to stop the pollution.

“People drop litter everywhere. They even throw garbage into the river,” said Huynh Van Muoi in Vinh Loc B commune.
HCMC has 2,000 kilometers of drainage canals, more than 100,000 manholes and 800 discharge outlets. However, uncontrolled littering has nearly neutralized the drainage system, according to the city’s environment department.

Meanwhile, Vo Truong Thanh, deputy chair of Vinh Loc B, complained the canals in the commune have become polluted because they have to receive waste water from the Vinh Loc Industrial Zone and neighboring communes.

“The local authorities will examine the waste water discharge of the production workshops along the Cau Suoi Canal. We will also restructure the markets in the commune,” Thanh said when asked about the solutions to settle the problem.

Not only Vinh Loc A and Vinh Loc B, other communes are also in same situation. When the water level goes down, the canals of An Ha, B and C and Can Giuoc river, which receive domestic garbage from households and waste from small production workshops, turn black and give bad odors. 

Nguyen Van Phung, Binh Chanh district’s Party Secretary, said the local authorities need help from the city’s people’s committee, affirming that Binh Chanh alone cannot control the waste from the production units on the riverhead located in other localities.

“The water of the canals which we examined is inky black. Locals say they don’t know where the water is from,” he said. 

Meanwhile, locals in Hiep Phu Ward of district 9 have complained about the bad odor from Binh Tho Canal for years. The canal, 2 kilometers in length, flows into the Sai Gon River.

Tat Thanh Cang, deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, stressed that in a civilized city, domestic waste water must not be discharged directly to the environment. 

Biogas tanks for household use is the best solution to the problem and waste water from households must go to a concentrated treatment system.

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Kim Chi
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