Sewage floods Vietnam city as construction blocks canals

January 21, 2010
A boy walks through Thanh Xuan Ward in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12.

Thousands of people on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City are up to their knees in sewage after a drainage project began blocking a local canal two weeks ago.

The company in charge of construction at the site has refused help remedy the situation, residents say.

“Water has come up from the sewers and has risen every day since January 6,” said District 12 resident Hoang Thi Thu Huong as quoted by local newswire Vietnamnet on Tuesday. “We have to wade through the water but it’s so dirty and the smell stinks up my whole house.”

Huong, who lives on TX21 Street is worried about the health of her child, who she now has to carry with her most of the time.

Her neighbor, an old woman, said she has been eating, sleeping and “going to the bathroom” on her bed for days as she couldn’t bear walking through the sludge.

Alleys in the district’s Thanh Xuan Ward were submerged in over a half-meter of black water on Tuesday.

Residents said the water levels are only rising with more sewage being discharged.

Some families’ apricot trees, traditional Tet decorations, were dying because people had no good water to give them.

Le Van Muoi, a local resident, said many people in Go Vap District have complained since construction on the Can Du Drain blocked the flow of the Sau (Deep) Canal, which is the only drainage system in the area.

Residents have asked the constructor, Hoang Quan Ltd., to clear the water flow, but to no avail, Muoi said.

Vo Quoc Su, a technician from Hoang Quan Company, said the company had no choice but block the Sau Canal for the 20 days of construction.

Su said his company is only in charge of building the Can Du drain, invested by the Project Management Unit of HCMC Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and has no responsibility for anything else.

Source: Thanh Nien

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