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Saigon Starts $1.5m Project to Clean Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal

Starting from February 26, 122,000 cubic meters of sludge will be removed from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal and processed to reduce the stench that negatively impacts local residents. 

The Management Center of Waterway System under the HCMC Department of Transport will oversee cleanup efforts on the canal that flows through District 1, 3, Phu Nhuan, Tan Binh and Binh Thanh before meeting the Saigon River. The VND36 billion (US$1.5 million) funding will be used for three separate sludge and garbage removal efforts, each lasting 75 days. 

"We will not pump the sludge directly onto the banks, but use blends of microorganisms to reduce the stench and prevent it from affecting daily life," said Pham Ngoc Dung, director of the Management Center of Waterway System. The accumulated garbage, trash and that ever-pesky and petulant water hyacinth will be processed at Da Phuoc, the city's largest landfill, in Binh Chanh District. 

An astounding 14 tons of plastic waste, animal carcasses and plants are dumped into the canal each day, fouling pleasant stretches of the city and resulting in fish die-offs.

This is not the first attempt to clean the canal, however. In the first half of the 2010's, the World Bank contributed US$650 million to address what was at the time a stretch of blank stink masquerading as a waterway. Other canals in addition to Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe are also scheduled for some TLC in the near future. 

[Photo via Flickr user Nhật Giang photography]

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