JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Social distancing in Hanoi locks ethnic minority migrants in tight spots

Social distancing in Hanoi locks ethnic minority migrants in tight spots

Sunday, August 22, 2021, 18:19 GMT+7
Social distancing in Hanoi locks ethnic minority migrants in tight spots
Migrant workers are stuck in a house on Hang Buom Street in Hanoi during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

A multitude of migrants of ethnic minorities has found themselves stuck in cramped dorm rooms of Hanoi, with thinning access to food and necessities after the Vietnamese capital city imposes a stringent movement curb mandate in late July.

Stranded by the social distancing fiat, a group of construction workers of Thai ethnicity from northern Dien Bien Province have been staying at a house on 15 Hang Buom Street — a structure which they have been hired to renovate — for over one month.

“Being stuck here makes me feel uneasy as my family is struggling financially,” said Lo Thi Bong, a worker in the group.

“My parents are taking care of my kids so I can work in Hanoi.

"Yet I can neither work nor return to my family in this situation.” 

Migrant workers are stuck in a house on Hang Buom Street of Hanoi during a social distancing period that started in the city on June 2021.

Migrant workers are stuck in a house on Hang Buom Street in Hanoi during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

Lo Thi Bong, a migrant worker, eats an uncooked instant ramen pack.

Lo Thi Bong, a migrant worker, eats uncooked instant noodles from a pack in Hanoi.

According to Bong, the group can only have decent meals when charity groups hand out food packages. Otherwise, they have to share packets of instant noodles to survive.

“I only wish the epidemic to be soon over so I can make money to support my parents and children," she said.

"The new school year is approaching, and my two kids are yearning for new clothes.”

Lo Viet Niem, another worker in the group, said all ten members are relatives who came to Hanoi for better job opportunities — only to be faced with another precarious situation. 

Migrant workers are stuck in a house on Hang Buom Street of Hanoi during a social distancing period that started in the city on June 2021.

Migrant workers are stuck in a house on Hang Buom Street in Hanoi during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

“When I first arrived in Hanoi, I had to borrow money for transport and food, thinking I could pay it off with my first monthly pay," Niem expounded.

"However, my job was halted just ten days in, so I have no money on me.”

His only wish at the moment is that the city puts the epidemic under control so that he and his peers could be able to resume work and earn their due salary. 

A group of construction workers shares a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in the city on June 2021.

A group of construction workers share a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

Cramped living

Many groups of workers can be spotted sharing shabby dorm rooms in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.

Most are ethnic minority people from mountainous areas of northern Vietnam, who came to the capital city for work but were not able to leave under the strict movement curb. 

As witnessed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, a 50-square-meter dorm room in the La Duong residential area was accommodating 22 workers, of whom 19 are from Dien Bien Province. 

A group of construction workers shares a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in the city on June 2021.

A group of construction workers share a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

A migrant worker prepare meals in a shared dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.

A migrant worker prepares meals in a shared dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.

According to the workers, they were doing construction at a nearby site when the social distancing regulation was introduced, requiring all non-essential construction projects to be shuttered.

Unable to return home, they have spent their past weeks confined in a stuffy space, under the summer heat.

A group of construction workers shares a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in the city on June 2021.

A group of construction workers share a dorm room in Duong Noi Ward of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District during a social distancing period that started in July 2021.

Pham Huu Dang, a part of the group, said he and his friends are stressed out from the severed income, dubious job security, as well as the suffocating heat and lack of ventilation in the room they are staying. 

“We are sleeping on the floor with mats, having barely any personal space," Dang complained.

“The most distressing thing for us is that we no longer have any income to support our families at home.

"We spend our days inside, unsure of when the social distancing ends so we can work again.

“We would appreciate some financial support for us so we can provide for our families back home.”

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Latest news