In November, local newspapers reported that 327 people in Lai Son hamlet were in big distress due to the black water which flowed from the treatment reservoir at the Nam Son landfill to the Lai Son stream.
Due to the long heavy rains in late August and early September, the black water flooded into to the rice fields, ponds and lakes, and households’ water wells which provide clean water to local residents for daily use. As a result, crops were damaged, fishes died and water wells got polluted.
The Hanoi People’s Committee then decided to compensate VND2 billion for the crops, rice, fish, plantation damages Lai Son’s people incurred.
Every resident in Lai Son hamlet also received 248,000 as the expenses for one-month use of clean water, from September 5 to October 6.
After that one month, people had to use “dirty water” again. Therefore, they then asked the local authorities to continue providing clean water until there are alternative clean water sources.
Hundreds of Lai Son’s people had to struggle hard for their legitimate rights, They continuously lodged complaints to competent agencies, asked for open dialogues with local authorities, met the leaders of the Hanoi Urban Environment Company to discuss the solutions to the problems.
On November 27, about 400-500 local people joined forces to prevent the company’s trucks from entering the Nam Son landfill. This forced the Hanoi Urban Environment Company to promise to provide money for clean water on December 6. Actually, the money was delivered on December 13.
Nguyen Thi Nam, a local resident, felt happy about the compensation. “From now we can use clean water,” she said.
However, she said that what she wants is not the compensation, or the state’s money, but the stable clean water supply. “If there was a clean water supply system in the commune…” she said.
“We now have money to buy clean water, but we still have to live in the polluted area,” she added.
Another local resident also said that he wants a life with high quality, which means with no air or water pollution.
“We wish to move to other localities to settle down to keep away from the polluted environment,” he said.
According to Le Trung Dung from the Hanoi Urban Environment Company, Nam Son, the only landfill in Hanoi, receives 4,500 tons of waste a day from all the districts in the city.
Also according to Dung, the money delivered on December 13 was enough for people’s 86-day use of clean water, from October 7 to December 31, 2013. Every person received VND8,000 for a day. As such, the company has given VND832,480,000 to 1,210 members in Lai Son hamlet.
Dung also said that the company continues checking the damages suffered by local residents from the polluted water to decide the compensation levels.
There has been no conclusion about the people’s accusation that the untreated waste water from the reservoir at Nam Son landfill is discharged to Lai Son stream.