For nearly a half of century, households in Nong Cong district’s Cong Binh commune in the central province of Thanh Hoa have had to use water contaminated with petroleum. All residents here are in need of clean water, Nguyen Van Hanh, a resident in Yen Ninh hamlet told Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper. Hanh said his family had earlier dug five wells, hoping to find clean water, but all were contaminated with petroleum. The family, however, had no choice but to use the water, despite its strong petroleum odour. “In summer, people from outside come here and can not breathe due to the heavy smell of petrol,” Hanh said.
Today, all inhabited land and ponds are unusable for farming due to the pollution. Petrol floats on the surface of ponds and fields. Residents use water tanks to catch rainwater for daily use during the rainy season, although in the dry season many households have to travel outside the area to ask for clean water. Nguyen Thanh Tinh, another resident, said, “All water resources here are seriously polluted and prevent me from improving my family’s life. I tried to raise fish, but they didn’t grow and all died.”