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Jun 04, 2024 / 20:45

More solutions needed to resuscitate dead rivers: Vietnamese minister

Protecting the health and vitality of rivers means preserving life and the development of the nation and the people.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Quoc Khanh appeared before the National Assembly on June 4 to answer for the solutions needed to revive the dead rivers.

He said localities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) have implemented a series of measures to reduce pollution and clean rivers nationwide.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Quoc Khanh answers delegates' questions at the ongoing National Assembly plenary. Photo: The Hanoi Times

"However, the solutions implemented so far have not been effective, as industrial parks and artisan villages have been dumping more and more waste into polluted rivers. The pollution situation is getting worse, affecting the country's landscape and the public's health," Khanh said.

Therefore, cities and provinces need to work together to synchronize wastewater treatment. The basic solution is to retain water and regulate the natural flow.

Meanwhile, the MONRE will seek the government's approval to immediately set up a river basin management committee to deal with the polluted rivers in the period 2026-2030.

Delegate Nguyen Huu Toan from Vietnam’s northern province of Lai Chau. Photo: The Hanoi Times

"Why has the ministry allowed waste discharge and pollution to increase? How long will it take to treat the polluted rivers?"  Delegate Nguyen Huu Toan from the northern province of Lai Chau asked.  

Meanwhile, delegate Le Dao An Xuan from the southern province of Phu Yen said that protecting water resources in the river basin is currently facing many challenges."The proliferation of socio-economic development projects along the water source has led to environmental pollution and unsustainable water use," Xuan said.

She asked Minister Khanh to provide directions and breakthrough solutions in the coming period to promote the effectiveness of the river basin water management mechanism to ensure the sustainability of water resources.

Mai Thi Phuong Hoa, a National Assembly deputy from the northern province of Nam Dinh, said that many localities located in the Nhue - Day river valley are suffering heavily from polluted water sources because of inflow of substandard wastewater.

She cited an MONRE report as saying that wastewater from craft villages and industrial wastewater account for the largest proportion of total wastewater, but wastewater collection remains modest.

"Where the more waste water is discharged, the less waste water treatment is implemented, while urban areas discharge waste, rural areas suffer," Hoa said.

A section of To Lich River in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times

Khanh said the MONRE has strengthened the environmental monitoring and analysis system in the Nhue and Day River basins in Hanoi. "Currently, there are five automatic monitoring points and 42 surface water environment monitoring points. In addition, the ministry has assessed the capacity of the rivers to discuss appropriate treatment solutions with localities," the official said.

Minister Khanh affirmed that it is necessary to involve local governments in joint efforts and consensus to treat polluted rivers and create streams. He urged localities to enhance communication among people, communities, and businesses on environmental protection.

"The MONRE will launch a project to protect river basins" is the answer to delegate An Xuan's question. Khanh emphasized that the project will ensure the safety of water sources and the responsibility of localities to protect the environment.

"The Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee must be a member of the River Basin Organization, which is responsible for ensuring water source security, effective water use, and environmental protection," he said.

He also stressed that rivers are important for the development and well-being of mankind. Protecting the health and vitality of rivers means protecting life and the development of the nation and the people.