Craft villages found to be major polluters

10:08 | 18/10/2019 Industry

(VEN) - Despite a comprehensive legal code designed to protect Vietnam’s environment, its enforcement in the Vietnamese craft sector has been lax, resulting in an increasingly polluted environment in handicraft villages.

craft villages found to be major polluters
Waste water from a paper and wrapping recycling craft village causes pollution

Dong Ky Village, for example, is a famous wood carving village in Bac Ninh Province, known for its production skills and dynamic search of new markets, but its pollution level is very high as a result of the unsupervised use of as many kinds of chemicals in the production process. The organic solvent vapor generated from the varnish paint affects the air environment. The concentrations of acetone and butyl acetone are higher from 0.214 to 0.224mg and 0.2 to 0.3mg per cu.m respectively compared with the environment of normal conditions in the area and the concentration of organic substances exceeds the permitted levels by 23.4 to 26.1 times.

The head of the industry management office under the Bac Ninh Department of Industry and Trade Le Anh Dung said pollution levels in most local craft villages and in Dong Ky in particular are relatively serious. The pollution in some villages, such as Phong Khe and Khac Niem, is at alarming levels because water sources are affected by BOD5 and COD concentrations. The soil is also polluted due to heavy metals like zinc and iron.

Environmental experts have long been warning of the pollution in craft villages and its impact on human health, which can hardly be offset by economic benefits. A survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) showed that 46 percent of the surveyed villages were seriously polluted while 26 percent were polluted moderately.

Experts have accused production facilities in craft villages of disregarding regulations on production safety and environmental discharge. To solve this, it is necessary to tighten inspections at craft villages and polluted production facilities need to be relocated far from residential areas.

Phan Thi To Uyen, a representative from the Quality Management Department under the Vietnam Environment Administration stressed that the legal system for the environmental sector, including craft villages is relatively complete. However, the environmental pollution nowadays is partly due to the low awareness of production facilities and households of the importance of observing environmental protection laws and regulations. Some even oppose the regulations.

She suggested that related agencies need to enhance inspection and checks and the state needs to regroup or replan production facilities depending on their production characteristics, perhaps by moving them into industrial parks. They also need to tighten control on backward technologies causing environmental pollution; research and apply new technologies giving priorities to environmentally-friendly and recycled technologies.

A survey by the MONRE shows that 46 percent of the surveyed villages were seriously polluted, while 26 percent

were moderately polluted.

Hai Linh