More than 2,000 canals in Ho Chi Minh City are breathing their last breath. But a group of young people are putting in efforts to raise awareness and help restore them.
Up to 14 coal fired-power plants are set to be built in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta as part of Vietnam’s Power Development Plan (PDP). Nguyen Thi Ha looks at how the coal plants already operating in the delta area are affecting the health, salt and fish farms, and local livelihoods of thousands of communities living in the delta.
Lower Klity Creek is the main source of water for the hundreds of Karen families living in the Thongpaphum district of Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand. For the last five decades, a lead factory has released toxic waste, poisoning the rivers and creeks and leading to illnesses and death from lead contamination in the water and food. The Jo family is one of the Karen families still living with the toxic contamination and living in unimaginable suffering. Even though the factory was shut down in 1998, the toxic legacy of poisoning remains. Although the villagers have fought and won court cases against the company to clean up the creek, so far the authorities have not provided any effective clean-up measures.
One of the most beautiful sights in Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi is the large number of lakes and streams dotted around the city. The more than 100 small and large lakes are an icon, part of the local culture and benefiting Hanoi’s tourism. The lakes also provide environmental benefits like regulating city floods and providing quiet and green spaces for the city residents. But rapid urbanization is resulting in pollution, encroachment and degradation that is threatening the lakes. Without urgent and concerted action, the city’s lakes may become mostly dumps for rubbish and affect the health and livelihoods of the city’s residents and the scenic beauty of Hanoi.
Despite strong local protests, Thailand’s military government is going ahead with oil drilling in Kalasin province in northeast Thailand. As the regime breaks its promise of a just energy policy, once again local people are paying for the real costs of the country’s ambitious energy plans.