Life floats at Hanoi river slum

Thanh Nien News

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28 poor families built houses on oil drums on a dirty section of the Red River, next to Hanoi splendor


A man walks into one of the house at the Phao (Float) village in Long Bien District in Hanoi downtown. Photos: Duong Quoc Binh/Lao Dong
Poverty has separated them from the city world and brought them closer to each other, as this woman holds a baby not related to her so the mother can go to work, which can be cleaning the streets or washing dishes for a restaurant. 
This man is too sick to look for a job, and he just helps by taking care of others’ babies when he fells well. 
All the floating village members are migrants, except for Nga and her family who were born in Hanoi. They moved to the river part in 1996. 
 Nga’s husband is in the last stage of a biliary disease and he has asked his children to cremate him and scatter ashes into the river.
Their house is considered one of the finest at the village. It is home to eight people including their children and grandchildren. 
 Nga's family at lunch. Nga, who is nearly 60, has to work to feed all of them as her son and his wife suffer from paralysis while the other couple could not find a job. Nga makes VND1.5 million (US$67) a month working for a restaurant and earn extra from picking up scraps for resale.
 They wash dishes with the water they discharge waste into.
 The family has get familiar with the difficult life, but they are worried about the future of the little boys, who cannot go to public schools and receive proper healthcare without official residency.

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