Water Pollution in Vietnam: A Health Hazard to All

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Vietnam is has been facing a combination of air, water, and solid waste pollution. The land, polluted by American chemical warfare after the Vietnam war, is now suitable for farming, but water pollution has been hard to ignore. Heavy metals and other pollutants have been entering rivers, “killing” the areas around urban areas and alongside of the rivers, completely ridding the riverbanks of plants and animals. Water from rivers near Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are now, “not at all suitable for agricultural uses and absolutely not available for domestic use,” says Helene Bjerre Jordans, the counsellor for environment and development at the Danish Embassy in Hanoi.

Numerous rivers in Vietnam are polluted, but larger rivers like the Saigon are seriously polluted. Currently, only about 60% of the Vietnamese people have access to water that is clean and drinkable. Barely over half of the population are able to acquire unpolluted and hygienic water. Thirty percent of water deemed safe is now wasted. This 30% is mainly lost through leakages in old sewage piping systems that serve overly populated areas.

Water pollution is important to know of in Vietnam because most of the people already are sick and live in poverty; unfiltered water doesn’t help. In general, water pollution can contaminate crops. This results in unhealthy and unsanitary food. With an increase in contaminated food and improperly treated water, more humans are getting diseases. Water pollution can cause giardiasis and cholera. Giardiasis, painful and nauseating, is an infection in the small intestine caused by organisms found in polluted water. Cholera is similar, but much more serious. It can even cause death secondary to dehydration. In addition, over 4 million VND (Vietnamese dong/currency) has been paid for treatment of the diseases caused by water pollution.

The ecosystem around Vietnam’s rivers is dying, as some people would say. When pollution floats down rivers, it kills off necessary plants that provide traction. The plants keep the soil intact by spreading their roots throughout the earth. With the plants dead and decaying, soil and sand starts to wash away along the coastline. The riverbanks are no longer home to animals as well and many of the streams and smaller rivers are drying up. These effects can possible cause erosion in the Earth’s surface.The Pangasianodon gigas, or the Mekong giant catfish, the size of a grizzly bear, is on the path of extinction. The giant catfish is so big, it is said to be the largest freshwater fish ever to be found, so big it is nearly 9 feet long, and so big that a team of fishermen took struggled for more than an hour to haul it onto shore. The Mekong giant catfish and many other species are threatened by constantly growing pressured from fisheries, damming, and habitat destruction threaten the giant catfish and many other species that call the Mekong River their home. This also effects the welfare of the millions of people that depend on the Mekong River. Many organisms are dying, which disrupts food chains and as a result, animal species have the potential to become endangered or extinct.





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vichinh1 said...
May 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm
It is sad to know that at the present time, they are not sure about the source(s) of water pollution. and they still do not have a short and long term strategy and action plans. Hopefully, they should stop looking for excuses and punish those responsibles
 
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