What The Papers Say Oct-Nov 2017

(No.5, Vol.7,Oct-Nov 2017 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Railway sector to install cameras
Viet Nam News, 15 September
The Vietnam Railway is planning to run a pilot programme, installing cameras at road-railway crossings to catch violations and reduce number of accidents when trains pass. Several accidents have occurred at road-railway crossings recently due to careless automobile drivers with poor observation skills. With this in mind, the railway decided that installing cameras was a necessary precaution. When monitoring the cameras, if the railway managers notice a problem, they can assign workers to visit the scene and quickly resolve the situation.

Treating dioxin-contaminated soil begins
Viet Nam News, 18 September
The Ministry of Defence on Saturday started the construction of infrastructure to address dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa Airport. The project has total investment of VND270 billion ($11.8 million) from the State budget. Key facilities include disarming war-time mines and bombs, building roads, zoning off dioxin contaminated areas and removing organisations and military works from the newly detected squalid regions. The Bien Hoa Airport used to be the main army base of the US military during the war. Between December 1969 and March 1970, at least four AO spills occurred at the airport, posing the greatest risk of dioxin exposure.

Experts discuss ways to halt erosion
Viet Nam News, 19 September
The worsening erosion at Hoi An City’s Cua Dai Beach took central stage at the 5th Vietnam-Japan workshop on estuaries, coasts and rivers held on Monday and Tuesday in the historic town. In recent years, many kilometres of Cua Dai Beach have suffered from severe erosion due to rising sea levels and a shortage of muddy sand flowing from the upstream Thu Bon River, affecting the livelihood of local residents as well other socio-economic activities in the area. The event focused on solutions, ideas and experiences in applying science and technology in water works related to estuaries, coasts and rivers, especially as climate change is exerting serious impacts on many localities across Viet Nam. In the short-term, the provincial People’s Committee agreed with the proposed scheme of artificial beach nourishment to save the beach from erosion provided that future projects ensure sustainability, and closely follow set planning.

Air pollution shortens Vietnamese life expectancy
English VNExpress, 21 September
A new study has found that if the air was less polluted in Vietnam, its citizens would live on average 1.16 years longer. The study, conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, is the first to concentrate on tracking people’s lifetime exposure to air pollution. Scientist identified that air pollution can cut a Vietnamese person’s lifespan by 1.16 years on average. The air quality in northern and central Vietnam is much worse than in the south, they added. The annual mean PM2.5 levels observed in Vietnam stood at 20.9 micrograms per cubic meter, double the WHO’s guidelines. However, air quality in Vietnam is slightly better than in regional peers Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

Mekong Delta may be wiped out in 100 years
English VNExpress, 26 September
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta could be wiped off the face of the planet over the next century if drastic measures are not taken. The delta, home to around 20 million people and responsible for half of Vietnam’s rice output, is losing ground to erosion along its 800-kilometer (497-mile) coastline almost every day, mostly along the Tien and Hau rivers that spill into the giant Mekong River. Figures from the environment ministry showed that the delta has been losing around 300 hectares (741 acres) of land to erosion every year since 2005, while most of it sank by between five and 10 centimeters from 2010 to 2015. The issue is even more severe in coastal areas. The delta is at risk from a number of factors. There are 144 hydropower dams planned for the Mekong that would cause significant changes to the water levels and reduce the amount of mud and sand flowing downstream.

Hanoi to generate electricity from its biggest landfill
Tuoi Tre News, 13 September
Two Vietnamese firms and their South Korean partners have closed a deal on a project that will generate electricity from the largest landfill in Hanoi. The landfill gas utilization plant will be developed at the Nam Son landfill in Soc Son District, outside Hanoi. The waste treatment complex at Nam Son landfill is the largest of its kind in Hanoi, treating some 4,000 metric tons of garbage per day. The landfill, spanning 83.5 hectares over three communes in Nam Son District, dedicates 53.49 hectares for waste burial. Construction of the plant is expected to take 15 months at a cost of $13.14 million. The plant will be in operation for 15 years with a total capacity of 5MW.

‘111’ to be national hotline for child protection
Tuoi Tre News, 27 September
Vietnam’s Department of Child Care and Protection is making final preparations for the upcoming launch of a national child protection hotline - 111. The department said ‘111’ would be launched in October, replacing the current eight-digit number of 18001567. The new number is easier to memorize especially for children, and will ensure the hotline is known to as many people as possible. The old number has been in use since 2004, offering around-the-clock telephone support to underage victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking, as well as receiving reports of such crimes. With the launch of the new number, the department will also be opening two new call centers headquartered in central Danang City and southern An Giang Province, in addition to its existing center in Hanoi.

Following the tunes (“Spring comes to Muong Hum hamlet high up the mountains with heart-rocking distant singing…” ) of talented composer Nguyen Tai ...
In the heart of the darkness of Saigon's backpacker land,ambling along down raucous Bui Vien Street and wishing I had not come out without my ear ...
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