Community-based solid waste management   (15:56 | 30-07-2010)
Uncontrolled wastes not only are threatening the living environment of local people, but also are potential risks of wetlands ecosystem. Over the last two years, the community in Giao An commune – one of the communes in the buffer zone of Xuan Thuy National Park has become a pioneer in solid waste management in the region with supports of the local government, Xuan Thuy National Park, and Asian Coastal Resources Institute-Foundation (CORIN-Asia).

According to a survey conducted in Giao An commune, different wastes are mostly thrown out to rivers, lakes, bridge legs, and sewers, which cause the obstruction of water flows, degradation of land, water and air qualities, and then directly affect health of local people. It is also a concern that most of wastes  in rivers and lakes flow   to the alluvial ground in the park’s core zone, affecting to the wetland ecosystem and landscape there.


How  to manage wastes and protect environment? This is a  question which had  been raised for the community, local government, and Xuan Thuy National Park over the past years. Three action groups have been determined to solve the problem: (1) improving awareness and “community responsibilities” of all local people; (2) building a community-based waste collection and management mechanism; (3) setting up a landfill, facilities and waste collection group in accordance with State regulations.


With institutional assistance of Xuan Thuy National Park, Giao An community  received the support of Wetlands Alliance Program (WAP) sponsored by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Through this program, the Asian Coastal Resource Institute-Foundation (CORIN-Asia)  facilitated to apply participatory approach in all activities such as:  small group dialogues;  village meetings; training courses on waste segregation at household level; provision of  waste collection devices; development of  regulations and collection groups; and cross-site visits to Thailand for key officers of the communal women union and youth union.  These  helped  improve  awareness and  active participation of local people. Especially, the results create the premise for application of the VND3 billion landfill invested by the Buffer zone Development project.


Educating the waste segregation for local women


At the community level,   more attentions were paid for   the “segregation and treatment of solid wastes at source”. Wastes are segregated, then processed for reducing, recycling, and reusing  at home.   Unrecyclable wastes will be transported by collection groups to the dumping site for treatment.


The  women union’s training class on waste segregation


Waste segregating activities at home

After two years of deployment, Giao An commune has achieved practical results in managing and treating wastes. Wastes on rivers and roads have been gradually eliminated. Based on its experience, the Giao An community has supported other communes in buffer zones to implement the program on waste segregation and treatment at home. With a high determination of local people and government, the program has reached certain successes, which allow a better environment in the Xuan Thuy National Park area./.


Vu Quoc Dat

Field officer of CORIN-Asia Vietnam



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