Compensation delay: protesters again block Hanoi garbage dump

By Tat Dinh   July 14, 2020 | 01:02 am PT
Compensation delay: protesters again block Hanoi garbage dump
Local residents sit by the side of a road leading to Nam Son, Hanoi's biggest landfill in Soc Son District, to prevent garbage trucks from going in, July 13, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
Local people have once again blocked entry to Hanoi’s Nam Son waste treatment plant over a compensation dispute, preventing garbage trucks from going in.

In Hong Ky Commune in Soc Son District, last Sunday night a group of 15 people pitched camps on one of the roads leading to the landfill, the biggest in Hanoi.

The next day more than 20 people did the same in Nam Son Commune outside another entrance.

The protesters had brought along water, cookers and food and prevented trucks from entering the dump.

The protest has continued on Tuesday.

Vu Tien Luc, head of Xuan Thinh Village in Nam Son, said the protest is in response to the city’s tardiness in paying compensation to and resettling people living within a 500-m radius of the dump.

"The city said it will complete the compensation and relocation within the second quarter, but as yet affected families have only received money for their agricultural lands and not a dong for their houses or gardens."

Son Son District authorities have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with the protestors, and hundreds of garbage trucks have had to turn back in the last two days after failing to gain entry to the dump.

This is not the first time such a protest has been held. Last year too people in Soc Son District set up camps and blocked trucks on three different occasions.

Yet Hanoi and Soc Son authorities have been slow to compensate people suffering from the environmental impacts of living close to the complex.

Built in 1999, the Nam Son waste treatment plant spreads over 157 hectares (390 acres). It receives almost 5,000 tons of garbage every day and buries all of it.

According to the Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco), it became more than half full in 2018, and will not be able to accept more garbage after December this year.

Hanoi generates 6,500 tons of solid domestic waste daily and 89 percent of it is buried.

In January the city ordered Soc Son District to quickly finalize plans to compensate and relocate affected families living within a 500-m distance from the dump.

There are 2,000 households living and farming on a total area of 396 hectares to be relocated.

For now, to prevent garbage from piling up along the city’s streets for days as happened last year following the protests, authorities are planning to send some of the trucks to Xuan Son water treatment plant in Son Tay District.

They have instructed Urenco to keep the garbage in its trucks for the time being.

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