Quang Tri fights DDT pollution

The foundation staff found the Trieu Long 2 Primary School on a contaminated site. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

QUANG TRI (VNS) — Non-governmental organisations have started investigating several sites in the central Quang Tri Province that have become polluted by pesticides.

Following a report in Viet Nam News on pollution causing locals hardship, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung from Germany last week held a preliminary survey in the area.

The foundation’s staff visited Quy Thien Village in Hai Lang District, where some soil had been drenched in DDT, 666 and other deadly poisons.

They found one primary school was located right over an old warehouse site used for storing pesticides.

DDT and 666 are highly toxic substances that were prohibited decades ago. The site reportedly became polluted from poisons stored by the local agricultural co-operative from 1975 to 1993.

The staff visited households in Phuong Ngan Village in Trieu Phong District, where the DDT pollution was also well above tolerated levels. Local Department of Environment Protection last year announced 56 polluted sites around the province.

Locals living near the sites said they smelled pesticide odour every day and that they were using water taken from wells suspected of being contaminated.

“We need safe water first,” said a local Nguyen Hoai Phong.

The German foundation is setting up roadmap for further surveys in collaboration with Hue based Centre for Social Research and Development.

The centre will conduct social surveys in neighbouring Thua Thien – Hue Province to check on sites in a similar situation.

A seminar in September plans to foster moves to treat polluted sites by authorities and teach locals how to use pesticides properly. Funds for the activities are expected to be provided by the German foundation. — VNS

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