Workers collect oil leaked from a waterway accident in the Sai Gon River. Industrial waste water was released from ships contained toxic substances including oil and grease, detergents and heavy metals with a negative impact on water quality. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
HA NOI — Viet Nam’s marine environment is facing increased pollution from human activities while the country is still lacking an effective pollution control mechanism, deputy director of the Viet Nam Environment Administration Hoang Duong Tung has said.
“The population growth in coastal provinces triggered a by new flow of immigrants and the rapid urban development in these areas has led to a remarkable increase in the total amount of waste discharged into the sea via the river and canal systems,” he said.
Figures from the Institute of Mechanics reveal that the volume of solid waste generated in coastal provinces in 2009 amounted to an average of 7,800 tonnes per day. Waste water reached an average 11.8 million cubic metres per day.
The National Report on Environment 2010 shows that there were no effective waste treatment systems in place in those provinces during that time.
Ships and other types of marine transportation were another source of pollution. Industrial waste water was released from ships contained toxic substances including oil and grease, detergents and heavy metals which had a negative impact on sea water quality.
Each month the ports in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh Province received 400 container ships which released anywhere from 430,000 to 710,000 cubic metres of ballast water each, an indispensable substance to help ships remain stable in the water. However this process releases exotic marine animals and plants from foreign waters into the local environment.
In 2008 alone, 4,578 tonnes of waste water containing oil was dispersed into the sea by 394 container ships. Remnants left 2,561 tonnes of oil in the sediment, according to the report.
The strong development of industrial parks near the coast, which accounted for 80 per cent of the total figure, was putting more pressure on the marine environment, the report said.
Waste from coal exploitation activities could trigger the sedimentation process, aquatic loss and water quality degradation. The total volume of waste water released from coal exploitation sites was estimated to reach around 25-30 million cubic metres and was highly acidic.
Waste water and household waste from tourism services had a direct impact on surface water pollution near beaches.
In Viet Nam, waste water from coastal areas accounted for one quarter of the total waste water nationwide.
Tung said the oil and grease content in Viet Nam’s sea water was rising to an alarming level.
Viet Nam has a long coast line of more than 3,200km. — VNS