Da Nang residents get poison-free water

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People living around Da Nang airport are enjoying clean tap water after many years of using groundwater contaminated with dioxin.

Vitens Evides International of the Netherlands, a public-private concern that helps water supply utilities in developing countries, last November gave the Da Nang Water Supply Company (Dawaco) almost VND4.2 billion (US$236,100) to help provide tap water to more than 2,700 families in An Khe and Hoa Khe wards of Thanh Khe District.

The district administration and Dawaco contributed a further VND726 million ($40,800) to the project that began implementation early this year, said Dawaco director Nguyen Truong Anh.

Earlier, soil analyses done by Canada-based Hatfield Consultants at the city airport, which functioned as a dioxin storage area during the Vietnam War, showed high concentrations of the toxic chemical.

The environmental services provider also found that dioxin levels in local residents' bloodstream were much higher than that in many industrial countries.

Residents around the airport have been dissuaded from cultivation and breeding fish to limit the impact of dioxin.

Fish in nearby ponds usually die after heavy rains.

Statistics from city authorities show that more than 30 children born in Hoa Khe Ward between 1992 and 2004 were affected by dioxin, and two of them died.

With the implementation of the new project, clean tap water has reached 1,200 families in the two wards and the service will reach the remaining residents by the end of June, Anh said.

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