Sea of used condoms, tampons wash up in Hanoi lake

By VnExpress   November 22, 2016 | 09:27 pm PT
Authorities are unsure of where the stained toiletries came from.

Hanoians have become used to fish washing up dead and the unpleasant smells that often emanate from their lakes, but Tuesday was a new low for the capital city.

Benjamin James Park, a 34-year-old Australian expatriate who has been living in Vietnam for nine years, said he was taking a walk around Linh Dam Lake on Tuesday morning when he spotted a stretch of floating used condoms, stained tampons, wet nappies and other plastic trash on the water.

“I’ve never seen anything like this out on the lake,” Benjamin told Thanh Nien Newspaper “It was a lot of condoms, tampons floating along with the sewage. It gave me the shivers.”

He reported the discovery through a Facebook post which quickly went viral and garnered thousands of likes and shares on the social media site.

Benjamin said he returned to the lake a few hours later to see the toiletries being cleaned up.

The source of the garbage remains unknown.

“This has never happened here before,” said Au Van Than, head of Linh Dam Lake’s management board, implying that there could be a number of reasons for the large amount of the garbage in the water.

“The likelihood is that someone illegally discharged their wastewater into the lake last night,” he added.


Local people found a stretch of garbage floating on an area of hundreds of square meters on Linh Dam Lake in the southwest of Hanoi on Tuesday morning.


They said someone could have thrown the garbage into the lake on Monday night.


Linh Dam Lake's workers took prompt action after being informed of the incident, saying that the garbage had been cleared up by noon.


Households near the lake have complained about garbage floating on the water and the foul smell coming from the lake. About two weeks ago, a massive number of fish were found dead in the lake. Local authorities blamed untreated waste water discharged directly into the lake by thousands of households for causing the fish deaths.


Linh Dam is one the biggest lakes in Hanoi, covering more than 70 hectares.

Photos by Benjamin James Park - Phuong Son

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