February 25, 2021, 6:51 am

Once-poetic Day River in Hanoi now a black, polluted mess

(09:13:30 AM 18/11/2014)
( - From September to January, the romantic Day River praised in many Vietnamese poems, which traverses Hanoi’s suburban districts, has turned black due to pollution from waste water coming from its upper stream.

Once-poetic Day River in Hanoi now a black, polluted mess


Do Duc Hiep, 66, of Lien Hiep commune in Phuc Tho District, said he felt sad because the beautiful Day River that he once knew no longer exist.

He said local believe the river is now “ugly”.

“In the past, I liked sitting on the riverbank fishing and relaxing when I had free time. But now I go there only occasionally, just to catch some fish for my livestock,” he said.

“The river has become quite different over the last 10 years,” he continued. “The blue river turns black and smelly from September to January. The terrible smell tortures local residents every day and makes their lives miserable.”

The vermicelli craft villages in Duong Lieu, Minh Khai and Cat Que in Hoai Duc District are believed to be the culprits behind the pollution.

Nearly all the households in the localities make vermicelli and process farm produce for sale. It is estimated that hundreds of tons of cassava are cleaned and processed every day.

The waste water from the production goes directly into the Day River without going through any treatment process. The waste from livestock farms in the locality has also been discharged into the river.

In the past, local adults liked planting rau muong (a popular herb) on the water surface, fished aquatic creatures for daily food, and used the river water for daily use, while children liked swimming there on hot summer days.

Now, the rau muong grown on the water surface can be used in animal husbandry only, while fish die because of the toxic environment. The water can also no longer be used for washing.

Farmers cannot irrigate their fields with the polluted water, because they fear the dirty water will kill their crops. And parents warn their children not to swim in the river for fear of contracting skin diseases.

Asked why he didn’t report the problem to the local authorities, a local man only smiled.

“They have become well off since they began making vermicelli. They do not care about the pollution,” the man said.

However, many local residents have asked for help several times from the local authorities. However, nothing has improved and the pollution is becoming more serious.

Everyone can see the Day river getting seriously polluted, but no one takes responsibility, because “everybody’s business is nobody’s business”.

Thanh Lich/ Vietnamnet

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