Mud from Da Nang industrial cluster invades homes, upends lives

By Nguyen Dong   November 17, 2023 | 06:54 pm PT
Mud from Da Nang industrial cluster invades homes, upends lives
Water and mud invade Tran Tien Mat's house in Da Nang after heavy rains, despite a 40 cm tall brick wall blocking them out, Oct. 13, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Mud from an industrial cluster in Da Nang has been invading homes during heavy rains, damaging belongings of several families.

Over the past few days, people in certain areas of Cam Le District in the central Vietnam city have had to put up with the mud and soil coming from the Cam Le industrial cluster, which came with the rain.

"It floods whenever it rains heavily. People have to stay up all night to watch out for the water coming from the industrial cluster," said Tran Viet Phuc, 48, adding that people were putting sand bags in front of gates, along with brick walls that are 40 cm tall, to prevent the floodwater from getting in.

Phuc's wife goes to work, while his children are tired of all the flooding, so they take refuge at a friend’s house instead. Phuc has to stay off work to watch the house. The family’s rice pots left in the front yard became moldy, and several other belongings were damaged by the rains and floods.

Tran Viet Mat, 60, saw his pots of rice, TV, fridge and washing machine damaged due to the water’s invasion. Just a few days prior, his daughter’s laptop, which was recently bought for VND20 million ($824.84), was also damaged after the flood came in.

In the flooding period in mid-October, families said they each received a box of instant noodles and 110 kg of rice as support. The Cam Le District People’s Committee, the main investor of the industrial cluster, said 16 families were affected by the mud coming from the cluster. The district and the contractor are considering ways to support the families without using the national budget. However, a month has passed and the people have not received any support.

A newly finished revetment, unstable soil foundation, high rain levels and incomplete drainage systems outside the industrial cluster all contributed to the mud invading people’s homes. On measures to alleviate the issue, the district People’s Committee said it would build drainage system for residential areas, as well as reinforcing the cluster with ferroconcrete and planting trees and grasses to prevent erosion.

However, on Nov. 15, there were no workers at the construction site for the project despite clear weather. The drainage system was still under construction.

"Even if construction is carried out, there will be only a few workers at work. I don’t know when the project would be completed," said Phuc, worrying that he will have to continue to put up with the mud as heavy rains are expected to last for several more days.

The Cam Le industrial cluster project, approved by the Da Nang People’s Council in December 2019, spans over 29 ha and has a total investment cost at VND250 billion ($10.3 million).

While the project has been basically completed, its infrastructure in the western side has not been connected with the Nguyen Phu Huong Street as planned, meaning there is no official entrance into the industrial cluster.

In September, Nguyen Van Quang, secretary of the Da Nang Party Committee, said the talus of the project was "dangerous" and requested the investor and the Department of Construction to find measures to ensure safety for both the industrial cluster and the surrounding residential areas.

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