Saigon canal overflows with garbage, awaits cleanup

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The 19/5 canal in Ho Chi Minh City, earmarked for renovation next year, has been highly polluted for many years now.

Saigon canal overflows with garbage, awaits cleanup

The 19/5 Canal in Tan Phu and Binh Tan Districts is thought to be one of the most polluted canals in Saigon.

The HCMC People’s Committee has instructed the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Finance to advise renovation of the canal section in Binh Tan.

The work is expected to start before May 19, 2020.

Saigon canal overflows with garbage, awaits cleanup - 1

The 10-kilometer-long canal connects the Nuoc Den Canal and the Tham Luong Channel. Embankments and railings have been put up along its banks.

Saigon canal overflows with garbage, awaits cleanup - 2

The canal is so polluted that its water is black. The section passing through Binh Hung Hoa Ward in Binh Tan is especially badly polluted. Many parts of the canal overflow with garbage although sanitation workers come to collect the trash every day.

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Every day they pick up dozens of sacks of garbage, gather them on the banks and wait for the garbage truck to come and take them away.

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The trucks collect the sacks once a week. As they lie on the banks during that period, they are covered in flies and maggots.

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The tide gates in the canal are also full of waste. The water is black and foul smelling. Nguyen Ngoc Tam, a resident of Binh Hung Hoa Ward, said: “People living on the banks of the canal have to suffer the stink all day, especially when it is sunny. The houses near the drain have a lot of flies.”

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A vacant piece of land next to the canal has been a place to dump trash for many years. Every time it rains the rubbish flows down the canal, blocking it. People also dump garbage right on the bank.

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In addition to garbage, the 19/5 Canal is also polluted by stinking sewage.

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A noodle vendor empties leftover food into the canal.

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A tree has fallen into the canal but not been cleared.

Le Minh Hieu, vice chairman of the Binh Hung Hoa Ward People’s Committee, said his administration has taken steps to improve the situation such as limiting encroachment and installing CCTVs on the banks.

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