Over 2, 000 Vietnamese Rivers Threatened By Polluted Waste Water

Mass fish deaths in the Hai Duong Province

Fish farmers in the Hai Duong province are raising concerns over recent mass fish deaths resulting from polluted waste water being discharged into rivers. All of the fifty households farming fish in the Nam Tan commune have suffered from the mass fish death, with financial losses estimated at VND 1 billion for each household.

This isn’t the first time that Hai Duong fish have died en masse, nor is it likely to be the last.

An investigation launched by the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has found that many of the rivers in Vietnam are currently polluted with organic matters, nutrients, pesticides and bacteria, thus harming the health of people living on the rivers’ basins when using water sources for daily life. According to Hoang Van Bay, head of the Water Natural Resources Department, in Vietnam, there are three seriously polluted river basins – Cau River, Nhue-Day and Dong Nai.

According to Dinh Xuan Thong, deputy director of the Ha Nam provincial environment department, the pollution of Nhue and Day Rivers this year has worsened in previous years.

He said that though many measures have been taken, the treatment of waste water before it goes to Nhue and Day Rivers has not seen significant improvement. The indexes of water quality of the Nhue, Chau and Duy Tien Rivers in Hanoi are all substandard.

Chair of the Vietnam Association for Environmental Economics (VIASEE) Truong Manh Tien believes the problem lies in the unreasonable river network management. Rivers are controlled in accordance with administrative boundaries, but they need comprehensive management solutions.

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