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November 28, 2021, 12:19 am

Kaolin corrodes hills and mountains in Lam Dong

(22:45:43 PM 30/10/2012)
( - A lot of green tea terraced fields have been cleared up in Lam Dong province to give up place to the kaolin mining sites.


The Loc Chau commune in Bao Loc City has been well-known as a tea growing locality of Lam Dong province. There were vast green tea terraced fields spreading out in the commune, showing a peaceful and rich countryside.

However, the green tea fields have been replaced by the kaolin mining site, where there are thick dust, rough and variegated roads, and the hills and mountains which have been cut into small pieces.

Local residents of the Loc Chau commune have suffered from kaolin, which is called the “gift from the God.”

The “kaolin pathway”

The Le Thi Rieng pathway has always been playing a very important role in the life of local residents which links the Highway No. 20 with the residents of Loc Chau commune. And over the last ten years, it has been serving as a “kaolin road” as well, which means the pathway for carrying kaolin.

Local residents said that tens of heavy trucks roll on the pathway every day which carry kaolin, causing heavy damages to it, thus badly affecting the life of hundreds of people living along the pathway.

The pathway has been cut into small pieces by the heavy trucks that run day and night. In rainy season, it turns into slippery muddy puddle, while in the dry season, it produces dust.

Since local residents complained about the degrading pathway, kaolin exploiters once contributed money to upgrade the way. However, the money coming in dribs and drabs cannot rescue the way. The stretches of road here get broken down just after a short period after they are fixed.

Hoang Kim Ngoc, a local resident in the commune, said since the kaolin trucks run on the way in bad conditions, they sometimes shoot into people’s houses.

Nguyen Duc Ban and Luu Van Ho, the two local residents confirmed that the trucks once run into the houses and pulled down the fences.

Most recently, in early August, a truck carrying 50 tons of kaolin ran into the house of Chu Quang Vinh located at the top of the Le Thi Rieng pathway, injuring Vinh and his wife who were then hospitalized. The house then collapsed, while the assets inside were severely damaged.

Loc Chau’s residents got so angry that they many times gathered on the pathway, trying to block kaolin trucks. However, they cannot hinder the exploitation of kaolin in the locality.

Streams get poisoned with kaolin

If someone visits the land area, he would see the green color of the tea fields, the red color of the coffee fields, and the white color of the kaolin grounds tens of meters in height.

He would easily see the excavators scooping kaolin to put into buckets which are then carried away by trucks. Some kaolin exploiters have even devastated mountains to create roads for their kaolin trucks. A lot of deep holes have been generated everywhere. No one can say for sure when the deep holes, described as the ulcerate wounds, would be healed, and when the green color of the land would return.

Deputy Chair of the Loc Chau people’s committee Vu Van Van said that the local authorities protested the kaolin exploitation right after the projects kicked off. 

Van said the kaolin exploitation does not bring any benefits to the local residents. No job has been created for them, because the exploiters just get raw material and carry away, while they do not intend to build processing factories here.

Meanwhile, kaolin exploitation sites have been devastating tea and coffee fields. The red mud from the sites haas been flowing into tea and coffee fields, following the rainwater. Some people complained that they lost the tea field just overnight after a heavy rain. It is estimated that 50 hectares and coffee in the locality have been damaged.
Thien Nhien

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