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Experts put forward drastic measures to save rivers in Hanoi

Experts put forward drastic measures to save rivers in Hanoi

Monday, July 08, 2024, 10:01 GMT+7
Experts put forward drastic measures to save rivers in Hanoi
A sanitation worker removes mud from the polluted Lu River in Hanoi. Photo: Danh Khang / Tuoi Tre

Some Vietnamese experts have given voice to a revival of rivers in jeopardy in Hanoi, offering some urgent measures such as tighter control over sand exploitation, improvements of river beds and water flows, and faster wastewater treatment.

According to Prof. Vu Trong Hong, expert in irrigation and former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, many rivers are confronted by severe pollution.

Excessive pollution might force rivers to flow back to its main river, Prof. Hong said, taking the case of the polluted Nhue River as an example.

In late 2023, the Nhue River in northern Vietnam spilled wastewater over the Hong (Red) River.

It is necessary to revive river branches and dig more canals to bring water from the main rivers to fields.

“In my opinion, an improvement of the Red and Da Rivers’ beds must be based on their flows, while local authorities should tighten control over sand mining,” he said.

Associate Prof. Dr. Dao Trong Tu, head of the Vietnam River Network, attributed the lower bed of the Da and Red Rivers to illegal sand exploitation, apart from several other reasons.

Once main rivers face subsidence due to unlawful sand mining, water could not flow into branches, worsening pollution in these distributaries.

If the treatment of wastewater in rivers is not addressed fully to smooth their flows, these rivers will find it hard to recover.

He called for immediate action to ensure the security of water sources and economic growth.

Economic expert Pham Chi Lan cited the World Bank as saying that if Vietnam does not take drastic action to boost wastewater treatment, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will dip 2.5 percent in 2035.

In contrast, its GDP will grow 2.3 percent if the problem is resolved.

The figures demonstrate the importance of the water resource, she said.

Another economic expert, Le Dang Doanh, former head of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that Vietnam’s pollution treatment remains slow.

Delays in handling the headache can cause more serious impacts on the next generations.

For instance, India is facing a scarcity of clean water, while numerous nations worldwide must filter seawater or recycle wastewater into tap water.

In particular, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region has suffered from a shortage of water for several months, leading to a wide area of dehydrated crops amid scorching weather. 

A representative of ​​the Department of Irrigation under the ministry said that the prime minister had previously emphasized that the country would build two spillways in the Red River to guarantee the security of water in the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam.

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Tieu Bac - Quang The / Tuoi Tre News

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