Dirty rau muong provided to Hanoians
01/08/2012, 10:12:24 PM (GMT+7)
(VietNamNet Bridge)-Thousands of bunches of rau muong (water spinach), the most popular kind of vegetable for northern people, are provided to the capital city’s dwellers every day. The problem is that the vegetables have been grown on the Day River, one of the mostly seriously polluted rivers in the city.
The farmers, who never eat the vegetables they grow
Nguyen Thi Thai, a rau muong grower in Ha Dong district, said that her family members, together with other households in the area have been growing for the last ten years. “We pick up nearly one thousand of bunches of rau muong every day for sale,” she said.
Though the farmers know well that the river has been seriously polluted, they ignore this, still growing vegetables here, because their lives have been depending on the rafts of rau muong on the polluted river.
Thai said the river has been feeding her and her children for the last many years. She does not have to pay special care for or fertilizer the vegetables, while they still can grow well verdant.
Le Thi Ha in Bien Giang ward, who has three rafts of rau muong, said that she can earn 4-5 million dong a month which is enough to feed her and the two children.
Rau muong here have been growing next to the sewers, together with domestic garbage and black waste water discharged by the families residing on the two banks of the river.
Every day, the farmers here water their rafts of rau muong with the water of the Day River which has turned black and ill smelling. The rau muong, after being picked up by local farmers, are sold to small merchants, who bring to wholesale markets in Hanoi, including Long Bien, Nga Tu So, Dich Vong Hau, from which rau muong would be distributed to retail markets and reach out to consumers.
Rau muong grown on the Day River have been provided not only to the central areas of the city, but also to suburb areas. “Small merchants come to collect rau muong at 4-5 pm and then carry vegetables away on trucks. A bunch of rau muong can be sold at 2000 dong,” Thai said.
Dirty rau muong on the dishes of Hanoians
According to the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the valley of Nhue-Day River now receives the waste water from eight industrial zones, where 157 industrial production projects are operational, from 266 industrial workshops outside the industrial zones and 358 craft villages. Besides, the river also receives the domestic waste water from residential quarters, hotels, restaurants, healthcare centers and other sources, mostly untreated waste.
A report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment showed that the pollution level of the Day River in Ha Dong district area has become serious with the coliform content exceeding by 38.9-51.86 times, the NH4+ exceeding by 4.2-8.4 times.
Healthcare experts have pointed out that the watering with polluted water is the main way that makes vegetables get infected with harmful microorganisms. They also said that rau muong is a kind of vegetable with big living mass, high capacity which can absorb nutrition well from the land and water. Therefore, in principle, rau muong would suck all the substances existing on the river. In other words, the quality of the river water would decide the quality of rau muong.
Hanoians have got shivered with the information provided by the experts. What will happen if rau muong suck chemical and heavy metal residues from the river?