What The Papers Say Oct-Nov 2016

(No.8, Vol.6,Oct-Nov 2016 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Scarce water resources threaten Phu Quoc tourism
Tuoi Tre News, 29 September
Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island is facing overwhelming growth in local tourism against the backdrop of a rapid decline in clean water.
The island’s water supply is primarily stored in the Duong Dong Reservoir, which has a capacity of five million cubic metres, and in local lakes and streams, thanks to thick vegetation and high rainfall.
A large number of resorts and hotels have been constructed on the island at the expense of its diminishing fresh water resources.
Underground water resources have been in rising demand for the daily life and cultivation activities of local islanders, as well as for the operation of resorts and hotels.

Over 19,000 jobs lost to Formosa mass fish deaths
Tuoi Tre News, 30 September

Over 19,000 Vietnamese have lost their jobs as a result of the environmental disaster caused by the Vietnamese steel business Formosa Plastics Group earlier this year.
The General Statistics Office of Vietnam reported that over 22,700 households had their lives and production impacted by the incident and its aftermath.
More than 24,400 local labourers, mainly working in aquaculture, salt production, and hospitality, lost the stability of their previous livelihood.
About 19,000 others became unemployed while 5,000 others were forced to find a new profession in order to earn a living.

Cancer kills 200 in Vietnam every day
Tuoi Tre News, 7 October

Around 200 Vietnamese die daily from cancer, while 130,000 new patients are diagnosed annually with the disease.
Cancer results in 70,000 deaths in Vietnam per year. Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease in Vietnam and the world as a whole.
More than 70 percent Vietnamese with cancer seek treatment in hospital at late stages, which has dramatic negative effects on their recovery ability and survival rates.
Proportion of patients internationally who fully recover from cancer is 80 percent, but in Vietnam the rate is only 33 percent for men and 40 percent for women.
Vietnam cancer rates are ranked at 78th out of 172 countries and territories, according to a 2014 survey by the WHO Global Cancer Countries.

Vietnam importing Chinese, Thai fruit
Tuoi Tre News, 10 October

Vietnam has spent more than half a billion U.S. dollars importing fruit in the first eight months of this year, most of which come from China and Thailand.
Vietnam’s fruit exports fetched more than $1 billion in the Jan-Aug period, but imports also rose 36.9 percent year on year to $529 million, according to a report by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
The Southeast Asian country bought fruit from 12 markets, with Thailand and China occupying the top spots with significant increases in import volumes in the year to August.
Vietnam imported $218.8 million worth of fruit and vegetables from Thailand in the eight-month period, a 62.4 percent rise on a year earlier, and $125.2 million, up 27.5 percent year on year, from China.

Taxi explosion kills 2 in Quang Ninh
Viet Nam News, 3 October

Two people were killed when a taxi suddenly exploded this afternoon on a street in northeastern Quang Ninh Province.
Witnesses said the taxi driver and a motorbike rider travelling in the same direction also died in the explosion. The two vehicles were completely destroyed.
Some glass doors of surrounding residents’ houses were broken due to the impact of the blast.
Fire-fighters and police personnel were dispatched to put out the fire and ensure traffic moved smoothly.
A report said the passenger committed suicide with a bomb because of his HIV infection.

49 killed by rabies in 2016
Viet Nam News, 5 October

Dozens of people have died of rabies since the beginning of the year, mostly due to low vaccination rates in dogs and cats.
The country reported 49 human rabies deaths in the first nine months in 20 provinces and cities, according to the Preventive Health Department.
Last year, there were 78 rabies deaths. Only 2.9 million of the country’s estimated eight million dogs have been vaccinated. On average, some 400,000 people are bitten each year by cats and dogs.
The country has been making efforts to reduce dog bite incidents and fatalities in recent years. By increasing the number of vaccinated animals, it aims to eliminate rabies by 2020.

Saigon dooms hundreds of old
villas to demolition
e.vnexpress.net, 25 September

The Architecture Research Centre of Ho Chi Minh City maintains that half of the town’s pre-1975 villas have already been torn down, leaving roughly 650 historical structures in a kind of limbo.
On Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, for example, 29 of 53 villas have disappeared. Likewise, half of Hai Ba Trung Street’s 40 villas now exist only in photographs.
The edict requiring developers to submit to an administrative review by the city’s mayor before tearing down any such building hasn’t had a noticeable impact.
Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies has submitted a draft regulation aimed at classifying old villas for preservation purposes.

Hanoi lakes to be checked
following massive fish die-off

e.vnexpress.net, 25 September
Authorities in Hanoi have called for the city’s lakes to be checked after tons of fish were found dead in West Lake.
The city mayor asked heads of the city’s related departments, districts and urban environment and sewage firms to increase the monitoring and management of all the lakes in the capital.
Authorities were also asked to raise local awareness about protecting the environment, especially in the city’s lakes.
The directive came after dozens of tons of fish washed up dead in West Lake in recent days, which the municipal government said was likely caused by a lack of oxygen.
West Lake is a large freshwater lake located in the centre of Hanoi.

Over 1 million Vietnamese live in hunger
e.vnexpress.net, 4 October
More than one million Vietnamese people are not having enough food to eat, according to a new official report, which has blamed severe drought and the recent toxic spill scandal for worsening the nation’s poverty problem.
Among them, more than 251,000 families are in extreme poverty and have to suffer hunger on a daily basis. That translates to over 1 million persons in hunger, up 15.4 percent compared to this time last year.
The statistics office’s report blamed the situation on severe drought and salt intrusion in many areas.
The worst drought in the country in 100 years destroyed nearly 260,000 hectares of rice and vegetables, more than 160,000 hectares of orchards and cash crops and more than 4,500 hectares of seafood farms in southern and central Vietnam in the first four months. The damage has been estimated at $250 million.
Mass fish deaths caused by the toxic spill from Taiwanese steel firm Formosa along the central coast in April were also a factor in pushing many families into poverty, the report said.

Saigon to remove 20,000 shanty houses from canal banks
e.vnexpress.net, 8 October

Ho Chi Minh City has asked for the central government’s permission to simplify bidding rules to draw investors into canal cleanup projects that involve the removal of thousands of shanty houses.
There are about 20,000 substandard shanty houses along the city’s canals, and they pose a threat to the people living there and cause pollution along the waterways.
The city announced plans to clean up its canals last year but said the projects will take many years and billions of dollars to complete, while investors have been discouraged by low returns.
Local authorities said the city needs the government’s approval to simplify bidding procedures to draw investors back following recent interest.

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