Sunday, February 19, 2012

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The name “cancer village” has been given to a village in
Hanoi – Tu Chau hamlet, Lien Chau commune, Thanh Oai district. One hundred
people in the hamlet have died in the last 20 years.

According to Nguyen Xuan Thuy, Head of the Tu Chau hamlet, the number of people
dieing of cancer has been increasingly high. In 2011 alone, 15 people died of
cancer. While local residents die of diseases, the local authorities keep
indifferent to the problem.
The Death is stalking
With 878 households and 3000 local residents, 100 people have died of cancer in
the last 20 years, which has raised big worry. Thuy said that there are so many
people infected with cancer in the hamlet. “My wife is having to bear cancer
treatments at K Hospital in Hanoi,” he said.
The worrying problem is that the patients have become younger. In the last 20
years, the men who died of cancer were no more than 60 years old. “We now dare
not go for medical examination. We fear that one day, physicians tell us that we
suffer from cancer,” he said.
Tam, a local resident, who lives in an 8 square meter room, said that her
husband has just died of cancer. “In the last five years, all of our assets have
gone to get money for his treatment. However, the money could not help,” she
The youngest patient who died of cancer recently was Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, who died
at the age of 18 from throat cancer. Nguyen Van Thao said he has been dragging
his existence for the last year. “I had just to pay 50 million dong for a course
of treatment. I will have to sell a land plot to get money,” he complained.
Water source causes cancer?
Local residents believe that the polluted water has brought cancer to the local
residents. They said that the Nhue River’s water has turned black with the
chemicals discharged from factories, which has influenced the running water of
people and caused cancer.
All the 800 households in Tu Chau hamlets now dare not use water from wells for
drink or cooking. The water has been used only for washing, because it has a
yellow color and gives terrible smell.
Thuy said that previously, local residents used the water from the village’s
ponds as the running water for daily use. However, the villages have become the
“dead water resources” in which fishes and shrimps cannot live. Nowadays, local
residents mostly use rainwater. However, as the rain water is limited, people
still have to use water from wells, though they know the water is not safe
Nguyen Thi Le, a local resident, said that she wished she could leave for other
places to avoid the polluted water. “We are living in fear, and we don’t know
when we have to go with the Death,” she said.
Local authorities ignore
When asked about the high number of cancer infected patients, Nguyen Cong Khoai,
Chair of the Lien Chau commune said: “Cancer patients can be found everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Quach Thi Hao, Head of the Healthcare center in Lien Chau commune,
confirmed that the number of cancer diseases has been increasing rapidly in
recent years. She believes that the reason behind the diseases is the polluted
water resource. However, Hao said that no experiment has been carried out to
find out the truth, because of the lack of money.
As such, since the local authorities and management agencies still keep a deaf
ear to the problem, local residents still have to live in fear.
Source: Dai Doan Ket

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