Hundreds of households in a hamlet in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam have said they cannot stand the large volume of smoke being emitted from a cashew shell incinerator as well as an aluminum and iron scrap incinerator, having to close their houses all day.
Dozens of residents in Nhu Xuan 1 Hamlet, Vinh Phuong Commune, Nha Trang reported to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that smoke from the incinerators blows into their homes and makes it difficult to breathe.
Many people have voiced concerns over potential health issues from inhaling the smoke.
Vo Thi Huong, a resident of Nhu Xuan 1 Hamlet, said the cashew shell incinerator was developed years ago and emits smoke whenever it is in operation.
“The smoke has a bad smell, like rotten eggs, so all the households [in the area] have to close their houses. We have to go elsewhere some days,” Huong said.
|The cashew shell incinerator. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Thi Lan, another resident, said locals had repeatedly reported the issue to local authorities but their efforts were in vain.
Moreover, the newly-developed aluminum and iron scrap incinerator in the neighborhood belches out smoke, making life harder for the local residents, Lan added.
The administration in Nhu Xuan 1 Hamlet has reported the issue to higher-level agencies many times, according to Ho Tan Dinh, chairman of the hamlet.
|Smoke and lubricant from the facility have polluted the surrounding environment. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre
Truong Ngoc Quy, chairman of the People’s Committee of Vinh Phuong Commune, said the cashew shell burning facility was put into operation in 2020.
Its owner, who is now in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam, has been committed to ceasing its operation and relocating it.
The aluminum and iron scrap incinerator used to be a coal production facility operated by Phan Dinh Hoang, a local resident.
The facility was turned into an aluminum and iron scrap incinerator over a month ago but has no license to operate as such.
Commune authorities have asked the owner to apply for the license and have threated sanctions.
The commune has also suspended the facility.
|Workers at the aluminum and iron scrap burning facility. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre
A representative of Nha Trang City’s natural resources and environment division said the division had received news about the two incinerators.
The owner of the cashew shell incinerator had earlier formulated an environment protection plan for the facility but failed to comply with relevant regulations, so he faced a fine. The facility has recently resumed its operation.
The division will employ specialized units to measure the smoke volume discharged into the environment from these two incinerators to have a foundation to punish them.