Experts: Hanoi’s iconic lake should be cleaned

Hanoi’s iconic Hoan Kiem Lake has been severely polluted through the years and must be cleaned to save the threatened living creatures there, experts said. (Photo: Bizlive)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi’s
iconic Hoan Kiem Lake has been severely polluted through the years and must be
cleaned to save the threatened living creatures there, experts said.

Hoang Thi Thu Huong, Deputy Director of the Institute for
Environmental Science and Technology under the Hanoi University of Technology,
said the lake was contaminated and had lost the ability to clean itself.

The thick mud at the bottom of the lake contains heavy metals and
toxic gases, affecting the habitats of creatures, she was quoted as saying by
Kinh te va do thi (Economic and Urban affairs) newspaper.

The high density of algae means there is not enough oxygen and
dredging work is a must to protect the lake’s ecosystem and restore its beauty,
she said at a public consultation on the environmental impact assessment report
conducted by her institute, co-organised by the Hanoi Sewage and Drainage Ltd and
the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district.

While most scientists and residents living in the areas around the
capital’s central pivot agreed on the need to improve the lake’s water quality,
scientists said the environmental improvement plans for the lake should be
conducted prudently to redress its pollution while protecting its ecosystem and

Duong Duc Tien, a biological expert, said the process of
rehabilitation and dredging must be carefully considered to make sure it does
not badly affect the lake’s habitats. The types of fish and algae living in the
lake mist be catalogued in detail, he added.

Mai Dinh Yen, another expert, agreed, saying mud layers should be
maintained during the dredging process since it is the habitat for many

Nguyen Ngoc Ly, director of the Centre for Environment and Community
Research, proposed that Hoan Kiem district set forth regulations to prevent
residents from releasing fish into the lake. “Hoan Kiem Lake has many
kinds of alien species. Some people even bring sacks of eel and snails to the
lake,” she said.

Trinh Dang Khoa, who resides on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, said that
despite efforts in recent years to improve the lake’s water quality, the
results did not meet residents’ expectations.

Nguyen Thi Minh Ha, chairwoman of the Ly Thai To Fatherland Front,
stressed the need to raise the awareness of local residents to the lake’s
ecosystem protection.

Phan Hoai Minh, Deputy General Director of Hanoi Sewage and Drainage
Ltd, the cleanup project’s investor, said the company will instruct the
consultants to review all suggestions, particularly those on biodiversity in
the environmental impact assessment. Once completed, the report will be
submitted to the scientific council at ministerial and municipal level for

Covering about 12 ha, Hoan Kiem Lake (also known as Returned Sword
Lake) is located in the centre of the capital. Apart from its spiritual and
cultural values, it is considered a scenic venue, a hub for weekend relaxation
from the chaos and bustle of the city.-VNA

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