Untreated waste threatens Vietnam’s ‘pearl island’

By Huynh Kim, Thanh Nien News

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The main dump on Phu Quoc island receives 70-80 tons of garbage each day. Photo: Huynh Kim

Untreated waste is becoming a big problem on Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, where tourism continues to boom. 
There are currently no waste treatment plants in Phu Quoc and the island district dump receives 70-80 tons of garbage each day. 
The dump, which occupies 50 hectares (128 acres) of the island, is also part of a 200-hectare area slated for development. 
In Phu Quoc’s Duong Dong Town, dozens of scrap metal businesses now crowd the narrow streets. Because there are no sidewalks here many scrap dealers toss their garbage into the road, posing risks to drivers. 
Nguyen Van Be, an 81-year-old resident of the tiny town, said there are no sewers on Tran Hung Dao Street, which leads to the Phu Quoc airport, so waste water frequently floods the new road. 
On the beaches of seaside hotels and resorts, garbage also drifts ashore. 
Phung Xuan Mai, general director of Saigon-Phu Quoc Resort, told Thanh Nien that waste water from most of hotels and resorts in Phu Quoc is dumped, untreated, into the rivers and sea. 
Huynh Quang Hung, deputy chairman of Phu Quoc District People’s Committee (the local government), said the district government is calling for investors to build waste treatment facilities on the island.

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