Youth in Ho Chi Minh City join hands to clean up trash-choked canals

Scores of canals in Ho Chi Minh City remain heavily polluted and blocked by garbage. Regardless of dirty and smelly water flows, groups of young people have joined hands to clean canals.
Young people clean the Lang 2 canal

Young people clean the Lang 2 canal

The Lang 2 canal in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District is one of the most polluted canals in the southern metropolis. Dirty water flows and foul-smelling waste have been haunting more than 1,000 households living next to the black water all year round. Responding to Youth Month and volunteering spirit, young people in the city named after Uncle Ho are joining hands to renovate the canal environment.

In the last days of March, thousands of union members and young people citywide spent green Sunday cleaning canals by clearing the flow and renovating the urban landscape. Coming to the canal in the early morning, student Nguyen Kim Hoang of Tran Van Giau High School and many young people scratched the heavy water hyacinth to clear the flow and collected rubbish.

Hoang said, when the Binh Thanh District Youth Union launched, Hoang volunteered to register immediately. Although he lives in Thu Duc City far from the canal, Hoang got up at 5 AM to attend the opening ceremony as he was excited to participate in volunteer work. The more he worked, the more enthusiastic; Hoang said he did not feel tired at all as he wished that one day the canal would be revived, and there would be no more waste, no more stench and environmental pollution.

Despite being very young, Hoang was aware of his civic responsibility in protecting the environment. He said he registered to participate in environmental clean-up campaigns adding that he was very proud because he has contributed my small effort to make the city more civilized, clean and beautiful.

Not far away, in the dark water, 30 young people wearing uniforms from the Green Vietnam community - a community of young people who love the environment were also working hard to clean up trash and pull each patch of water hyacinth that is covered with black mud to the shore. Members of the Green Vietnam community group are very young, most of them are students who showed their enthusiasm for the great community.

19-year-old Trinh Vu Minh Khoa, head of the Vietnam Green Community External Relations Committee revealed that In the past, people saw that the canal was full of garbage, so they kept throwing their garbage down, but after seeing us clean up, they didn't throw household waste down anymore. He thought the community's cooperation will create a greater sense of environmental protection, to revive the canal system. The young man hoped that the canals will not only create a fresh environment but also contribute to tourism development after it was cleaned up.

In this environmental sanitation campaign, not only individuals but also clubs and groups of volunteers participated. These are groups with a large number of volunteers with an influential role on social networks in recent years. For instance, the trash-collecting team Sai Gon Xanh (Green Sai Gon) squad, a group of young people in Ho Chi Minh City, have cleaned up many trash-choked canals across the city and collected dozens of tonnes of trash.

Previously, the group operated on a small scale. Now, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union invited the group to join the army to clean the environment, the group members are very excited. Ho Van Vi, one of the leaders of Saigon Green, said that in the past, the group members were only about 20 regular members and more than 100 collaborators to carry out their clean-up work on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Many times, the team members are very disappointed when after a few days of cleaning, the canal is full of garbage. According to Vi, large-scale events should be propagated more widely to residents living in the canal to raise their awareness of environmental protection which cannot be formed in a day or two. Environmental awareness campaigns should be launched to make people understand the importance of the environment's vulnerability and protecting it.

He expressed their hope that in the coming time, they will continue to cooperate with the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union to organize a larger-scale launch event and the local government must make a commitment to ensure no re-pollution after cleaning.

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