Bai Tu Long bay dying amid local authorities’ indifference

VietNamNet Bridge – Bai Tu Long, a wonderful beautiful landscape in Ha Long Bay – a world natural heritage area, has been seriously polluted. Meanwhile, the local authorities still turn a deaf ear to the problem.

Vietnam, Ha Long Bay, heritage, environment, coal

Dan Viet reporters have found out that the polluted area covers three wards in Cam Pha City of Quang Ninh province.

In the Duc puddle of Cam Dong ward, one cannot see the blue sea as he expected, because the sea has turned very yellow because of the pollution.

Hai, a local resident, recalled the happy days in the past, when she and her family members could live well with the aquatic products here. “It just took us some minutes to catch some fish or shrimp to have a good meal,” she said.

“However, the fishes and shrimp have died because of the pollution. You can see three colors of the sea water. It is black here, then red and yellow there. Plants have turned yellowed. They cannot live in such a polluted area,” she complained.

Hai led the reporters to the fish raft named Dong Ha. Huong, the raft owner, said she decided to spend billions of dong on the raft some years ago, because she was very satisfactory about the natural conditions there. Huong always made profit with the fish cages in previous years. However, since the water has got polluted, the fish have died, while Huong has incurred heavy loss.

Since then, Huong has left the cages idle. She is considering giving up the fish farming here because she cannot see any more opportunities.

Bai Tu Long has been gradually “forced to death” by the mining companies, especially the coal exploitation companies. The “black gold” exploitation and exports have brought money to the mining companies, but have also brought pollution which has been step by step killing Bai Tu Long bay, a valuable natural heritage.

Bai Tu Long bay was once recognized by the UK Gecko Travel as one of the five most wonderful tourism destinations in South East Asia. Local people live on fisheries and aquaculture.

However, it seems that local authorities don’t know this, because they don’t think of applying necessary measures to improve the situation.

It’s obvious that the mining companies in the areas are the culprits which have caused the serious pollution. However, they still have denied this, while the local authorities have not done anything to find out the polluters and blame responsibility on them.

Chairs of the Cam Dong, Cam Son and Cam Phu Ha wards all said that they have not received any reports from people about the polluted water.

Nguyen Van Khue, Head of the Environment Division of the Thong Nhat Coal Company, affirmed that the company has been implementing necessary measures to be sure that the waste water is “safe” for the environment.

Khue said he spends VND4.8 billion every year to hire Vinacomin Environment Company to treat the waste water.

Meanwhile, Pham The Phi from the Deo Nai Coal JSC, affirmed that the waste water cannot flow out to the environment in the dry season, and that the water can only go to the stream in the rainy season.

The Than Coc Sau Coal Company has not replied when it was asked how to treat waste water.

Dan Viet

Vietnam, Ha Long Bay, heritage, environment, coal