Ho Chi Minh City plans to clean up its polluted canals and waterways

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee wants to clean up the garbage and pollution that is clogging the cities canals and waterways and will start by focusing on four canals that are in the Thu Duc District and District 9. These are the Binh Tho, Suoi Cai, Suoi Nhum, and Xuan Truong canals. 

Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee requested that the Department of Mineral Resources and Environment (DMRE) collaborate with the People’s Committees of Thu Duc district and District 9 to begin inspection of facilities that are illegally discharging wastewater and to punish any company that is in violation of the cities wastewater regulations.

Inspections will initially focus on companies in Thu Duc and District 9 that are believed to be discharging more than 1,000 cubic meters (c/m) of wastewater. Companies that are believed to be discharging 1,000 or more c/m have been told that they must install automatic monitoring equipment that will then send data directly to the government agencies that are involved in the cleanup and monitoring efforts. 

In order to fulfill the city’s mandate, The People’s Committee in District 9 was asked to supervise the implementation of regulations on environmental protection at “breeding” households, which are required to build their own waste water dredging systems.

The District 9 People Committee has also been given a mandate to educate residents who live along the canals about the illegal discharging of waste or untreated water into the canals. Additionally, all households living along canals will be required to sign waste-collection contracts with garbage collectors and to provide proof of those contracts to the District 9 authorities.


Pollution on a canal in the Thu Duc District of HCMC

The HCMC DMRE has also asked agencies in nearby Binh Duong province to begin daily inspections of households that are near the HCMC National University. Many of the households near the university breed poultry and pigs and discharge wastewater into nearby canals. The DMRE has also asked the HCMC National University to build a dedicated wastewater treatment system for its Economic and Law faculties that are located in the Thu Duc District. 

According to a report published by the DMRE last year, the most polluted canals in the HCMC area are in Districts 9, District 12, Binh Thanh, Hoc Mon Tan Phu and the Thu Duc districts. The DMRE says that after moving forward with cleanup and monitoring activities in the Thu Duc and District 9 areas that it will then initiate similar cleanup and monitoring activities in other key areas.