Documents Awareness - Knowledge

’Garbage river’ in Hanoi cleaned up

12 April 2018 | 10:11:00 AM

A large amount of garbage was taken out of a drainage canal in Hanoi after pollution was reported by the media.



The canal filled with garbage last Friday. — Photo

The canal, located on Mạc Thái Tổ Street in Cầu Giấy District, caught public attention last week for being filled with garbage and smelling foul.

The canal had a dark, murky colour, with its surface covered by floating garbage. Zing online newspaper dubbed it “a huge garbage river.”

Located in front of the Yên Hòa Elementary School and Yên Hòa Kindergarten, the foul smell reportedly disturbed pupils and residents in adjacent areas.

After it hit the headlines, last Friday the People’s Committee of Yên Hòa Ward deployed sanitation workers and an excavator to clean the canal.

Garbage collectors from the Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Limited Company (HSDC) were also seen fishing garbage out of the canal yesterday.

However, these seem temporary efforts as the canal is not managed by any of these agencies. It is unclear which agency will be responsible for cleaning the canal if it becomes polluted again.

“The canal has been under the management of the Cầu Giấy District’s project management board since it was constructed in 2012,” said Đỗ Ngọc Anh, vice chairman of the Yên Hòa People’s Committee.

A photo taken on April 5 shows the condition of a drainage canal on Mạc Thái Tổ Street in Hanoi has improved after its pollution was reported by the media last week

“The board has not handed over the construction to HSDC although it was completed a long time ago,” he told An ninh tiền tệ & Truyền thông (Monetary Security & Communications) newspaper.

Representatives from the ward and the company examined the canal together, and agreed to ask Cầu Giấy District to hand over the canal to the city’s People’s Committee, he added.

An official from HSDC’s Drainage Maintenance Enterprise No 4 said such unclear division of responsibility applies not only to the canal, but many other water drainage constructions in the city.

“We still agree to dredge and clean them, but only if someone requests it, like wards’ or districts’ authorities,” she said.

As for the cause of the pollution, some residents said it was because of wastewater released from adjacent households and apartment complexes.

A garbage collector who was dredging the canal yesterday said the garbage was probably thrown into the canal by pupils from the adjacent schools and their parents. But Đỗ Thị Kim Loan, principal of the Yên Hòa Elementary School, said such behaviour had not observed around the school.

“The canal was polluted by the time we moved to this area,” she said. “Our pupils only litter inside the school.”

The canal is among several constructions that were completed in 2014 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the capital city.


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