Nguyen Van Cu School
Da Hoi, Bac Ninh, Vietnam
Phạm Kim Anh, Dương Thị Lan, Đàm Thị Quyên, Ngô Thuý Bích Lê Thị Lan, Nguyễn Thị Quyên, Nguyễn Thị Dung, Trần Thị Ngọc lan, Chử Văn Quý, Đàm Anh Đào, Chử Trọng Lộc, Nguyễn Thị Sự, Ngô Việt Đức, Nguyễn Thị Lợi, Trần Khắc Tâm, Nguyễn Thanh Hải, Nguyễn Thị Hồng Minh, Nguyễn Thị Thuỷ, Chu Minh Hoàng, Trần Văn Nam, Trần Thị Thuỷ, Vũ Thị Hôm, Dương Thị Ngọc, Nguyễn Thành Trung, Trần Văn Huân, Trần Thị Ninh, Ngô Văn Viện, Nguyễn Thị Hương, Nguyễn Đình Quang, Trần Văn Vương, Nguyễn Thị Hường, and Vũ Thị Xuân
Do Xuan Quynh
Steelmaking creates both jobs and pollution. But as plants and houses are in close proximity, frictions grow between industry representatives and residents dealing with the health and environmental effects. Students investigate the issue from different angles and advocate that both sides sit down to craft solutions.
Environmental Pollution in Da Hoi Professional Village
Da Hoi iron steel village is located on the north bank ofNguHuyenKheRiver, 25 kilometers east ofHanoi, and is part of Chau Khe quarter, Tu Son district, in Bac Ninh province. Originally, Da Hoi was a metallic mechanical engineering professional village manufacturing household appliances such as knives, scissors, hoes, and shovels. Now, it has become a center for manufacturing steel, and has a capacity of 350 thousand tons each year. Chau Khe is like a giant, steel stove. It is ranked first or second by scale inVietnam’s steel manufacturing.
Da Hoi’s steel product is used in every area ofVietnam, and it is also exported to other countries such asChinaand Lao. Da Hoi’s steel manufacturing supplies jobs to the local people and many others from provinces such as Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc, etc. The manufacturing industry and its commercial service helps the residents earn money, and many people in Da Hoi have become extremely wealthy.
Despite the benefits this steel village has brought to people, it has caused huge environmental problems for the locals and nearby village people and locations.
To respond to the “Going Green” exchange, students in class 12A8 at Nguyen Van Cu High School have researched environmental pollution in Da Hoi, a steel village in Bac Ninh province, Vietnam.
II. State and consequences
The development and enlargement of steel works in Da Hoi result in increased environmental pollution and make the village a giant waste-ground. Dirt, smoke, noise and industrial waste are threatening the lives of Da Hoi’s people.
A. Dirt and smoke
People living in Da Hoi and other surrounding areas have to live with dirt and smoke from the steel works and transport systems. Da Hoi has more than 850 household steel works so the demand for fuel consumption is considerably high. Each day, Da Hoi uses about 100 tons of coal, one ton of wood, a ton of fuel oil. Smoke from the casting and laminating stoves with out-of-date technology is discharged directly into the air, causing serious pollution.
The results analyzed by the Natural resources and environment service show that the amount of dirt in the residential area is from two to three times above the allowable standard, and the strength of carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide is nearly two times. In steel casting stoves, a lot of dangerous gases, iron dirt, and heavy metallic gases are all from five to twenty times above the allowable standards.
Besides the smoke and dirt from the steel works, smoke and dirt from transport pose problems that are hard to solve. Heavy trucks and trailers carrying iron and steel are always on the move. They release dangerous gases and damage the village’s road, making it muddy in the rainy reason and dirty in the dry one. The houses and furniture of the people living there are grimed with dust and look black although they are wiped every day. Workers there have a face smeared all over, and the clothes and faces of people, especially children who aren’t well taken care of, are sticky with dirt. The dangerous smoke and dirt is severely affecting the people’s health every day and every hour. It causes diseases relating to the eyes, breathing, the heart etc., and declines the living standards of the local people. The aged and small children are the most vulnerable to the effects of smoke and dirt pollution in the professional village.
B. Noise pollution
Noise pollution is also a persistent problem in Da Hoi professional village. The works that laminate steel or manufacture nails with old out-of-date machines cause deafening noise when they are operating. The trucks and trailers that move heaven and earth on the village’s road also cause unpleasant noise. It’s very difficult to find quiet space in Da Hoi. Even schools and first-aid stations are affected by the noise. This has a detrimental effect on the quality of pupils’ studies and older residents’ sleep. People living in such a noisy environment become stressed, hot-tempered, and easily lose their calm.
C. Industrial waste
Da Hoi is a recycling steel village. Its source of raw materials is mainly iron in loose bits collected from other provinces in the country. Industrial waste consists mainly of discarded scrap, iron rust, scrap iron, soil and sand, and a great amount of coal ash that results from the manufacturing process. Industrial waste also includes discharged water containing chemicals and metallic ions, acid steam, and alkali, which are created from the manufacturing of steel.
This amount of waste product is often dumped in the ponds, lakes, and from the banks into the Ngu Huyen Khe River itself, directly affecting the health of the local people and people living in the surrounding areas.
The big steel works often transport coal ash and discarded scrap to the bare grounds of the village. Consequently, the quality of the soil environment is growing worse and worse.
III. Reasons and Solutions
There are some reasons underlying the environmental pollution in Da Hoi.
First, the steel works are interspersed with residential areas with the works situated in the same place as houses.
Second, each family develops its manufacturing operation separately. Those who are responsible and aware of environmental problems may install some technologies to reduce the effects of smoke, but those who are irresponsible or unaware do nothing to protect the environment.
Third, most of the steel works are in poor condition, and are unsettled, narrow, and lack water or waste treatment systems etc. In addition, employers’ and employees’ cognition and the sense of responsibility for protecting environment are still undeveloped.
Recognizing the state and the effects of environmental pollution, the residents, businesses, and local authorities have applied many solutions to minimize them. They have assembled the works in an industrial area on the south bank of Ngu Huyen Khe River, separating it from the residential area.
Some owners of works built chimneys that are higher than the people’s houses, and installed “spouting fog” systems (hệ thống phun sương) in the works to restrict smoke and dirt. Others have invested money to replace the old out-of-date machines with the more modern ones.
However these solutions haven’t been applied widely to all the works in Da Hoi. The area of Da Hoi’s land is restricted, so it’s impossible to assemble all the works in the industrial area. Moreover the industrial area isn’t far from the residential area and it still adversely affects people’s lives. The installation of machines that help minimize pollution is expensive, so many owners can’t afford it and they still have to use the old-out-of-date machines. Many owners will not themselves impose regulations and will not voluntarily invest money in modern technology. All the above problems make it challenging to solve the environmental pollution in Da Hoi.
B. Proposed Solutions
When doing research on solutions to the environmental pollution in Da Hoi, we talked to some owners of steel factories, listened to their ideas, and proposed some ideas of our own. In our opinion, to solve the problem, we need the participation of the authorities, businesses, and residents. First, the authorities should supplement the village with additional land to help build a large industrial area into which all the works existing in the residential area can be relocated. Infrastructure such as roads and bridges should also be built to make the transportation more convenient and efficient.
Secondly, there should be an area where waste matter and water are treated before being poured into the environment. Thirdly, the authorities should create more attractive policies and priorities with regards to investment capital so that the businessmen can apply for a loan and invest in machines that have high environmental standards. Moreover, the local authorities and businesses must establish adequate requirements for the works, emphasizing both technology and safe working conditions to minimize the adverse effects of the professional village on the environment. There should be strictly enforced laws in order to dissuade people from breaking environmental protecting rules.
Last, but not least, there must be programs that help improve people’s sense of responsibility for protecting the environment. For example, opening campaigns can encourage people to plant trees, clean their surroundings, and so forth. In sum, the government, businesses and residents must join hands to solve the problems of environmental pollution in Da Hoi professional village. We hope that in the future Da Hoi will continue to develop, and become one of the professional villages that contributes to efforts to protect environment.
This “Going Green” project and research was conducted by the students in class 12A8 under the supervision of their teacher Do Xuan Quynh.