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Archive for August 24th, 2008|Daily archive page

HCM City to step up battle against pollution

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities plan to strengthen enforcement of environmental regulations on pollution, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The department, along with the city’s Union of Science and Technology Association held a conference on Wednesday on finding solutions to preserve the environment.

Speakers said the quality of the environment had deteriorated in recent years because of a lack of supervision of waste output.

City suburbs had suffered environmentally from sewage discharged from industrial zones without waste-water treatment.

In addition, the city’s rubbish treatment system is overloaded, requiring the processing of 6,000 tonnes of rubbish per day, while the waste classification programmes are not working efficiently.

Many canals in the city are severely polluted because of residents’ throwing garbage in waterways.

Loopholes in the country’s environmental law have also made it more difficult for local authorities to fine violators.

Dao Anh Kiet, director of the city’s environment department, said the environmental police would supervise industrial zones, residential areas and small producers more often, and would impose stiff penalties on violators.

Kiet said the department has urged the HCM City People’s Committee to not grant licenses to potentially polluting factories or companies —

Vietnam, an economic model for Mekong region

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Economists, scholars and representatives of countries and international organisations at an annual conference on development cooperation between Switzerland and the Mekong River region praised Vietnam as a model of economic development in the region.

Though poverty still exists in Vietnam, the country with its tremendous growth is effectively the economic model for the Mekong region, participants to the conference said.

They added that for the past 12 years, Vietnam has pursued a policy of radical economic regeneration under the renewal (Doi Moi) process. The country joined the World Trade Organisation at the beginning of last year and this was key to Vietnam’s integration into the global economy, they said.

This year’s conference entitled “Switzerland and the Mekong region – Development under the Banner of Food Security and Globalization was co-organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The event drew over 1,700 participants.

The participants also discussed challenges and successes in cooperation between Switzerland and countries in the Mekong River region through projects which are being carried out in Laos and Vietnam.

Switzerland has so far helped Vietnam shape its economic growth on environmentally friendly and socially responsible lines and especially to use the considerable potential of small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the renewal process.

Speaking at the conference, Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva Dang Ngoc Minh stressed that Vietnam regarded successes in the implementation of commitments to join the WTO and economic reforms as a firm foundation for the development of the economic and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland.

He said Vietnam hopes to receive more support from the Swiss government and people.-

Paralympic squad gets official send off in capital

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm

HA NOI — Viet Nam’s Paralympic squad were given an official send-off at the Youth Palace in Ha Noi yesterday.

About 4,000 athletes from 150 nations and territories will be competing in 20 events at the 2009 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, which is scheduled to run from September 6-17.

Viet Nam are sending nine athletes to compete in athletics, swimming, weightlifting and judo.

Speaking at the ceremony, vice minister and head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Nguyen Danh Thai stressed that Vietnamese athletes should compete in a spirit of friendly rivalry as they are representing not just themselves but their country.

Among the squad are weightlifters Dinh Thi Nga and Le Van Cong – who won an entry to the Games. Seven other athletes received wild-card places due to their successes at recent international events.

Nga will compete in the women’s 52kg category and Cong the men’s 48kg category.

“I and my teammates will compete to the best of our abilities in order to bring a medal home,” said Le Van Cong, a paraplegic.

Cong and ASEAN Para Games triple gold-medal holder Le Thi Hai – who will compete in the women’s shot-put, javelin and discus – are Viet Nam’s main medal hope.

Dang Anh Tuyet and Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan will compete in the women’s weightlifting 40kg and 48kg classes, respectively.

Hanoian sprinter Dao Van Cuong is competing in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao is competing in the women’s wheelchair 100m, 200m and 400m events, while swimmer Nguyen Quang Vuong is hoping for a medal in the men’s 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

The final member of the squad is judo athlete Trieu Thi Nhoi, who is also a strong medal contender.

This is the third time Vietnamese athletes have competed the Paralympics. —

Long An win 2nd place in V-League

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm

HA NOI — Dong Tam Long An easily beat Ha Noi ACB 5-1 in the last round, 26th round of the V-League at Hang Day Stadium to win the second place yesterday.

Tshamala A Kabanga and Antonio Carlos helped Long An win the game. Kabanga made a hattrick, while two rest wins belonged to Antonio.

With three more points, Long An have 45 points after 26 rounds to secure the second place.

Meanwhile, Boss Binh Dinh were resigned to their fate with a play-off match after a loss of 0-3 to Hai Phong Cement at Lach Tray Stadium yesterday. They will meet Dong Thap next Thursday.

Hai Phong Cement rank 3rd in the V-League this year.

Becamex Binh Duong took home the trophy for a second consecutive year earlier one round on Sunday, after last year clinching the title with four games left to play. They gained 47 points.

Da Nang who don’t rank in top three in V-League have had a praised season. They defeated defending champion Binh Duong 1-0 at Chi Lang Stadium yesterday to rank fourth with 42 points.

In other matches yesterday, Khatoco Khanh Hoa won 2-1 over Southern Steel-Sai Gon Port, Nam Dinh lost 0-1 to two-time champion Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Thanh Hoa beat Hoa Phat Ha Noi 1-0, The Cong drew with Song Lam Nghe An 2-2.

Hoa Phat Ha Noi and Ha Noi ACB are relegated teams in this season.

After the 26th round finished, the event’s organising board gave medals and money prize for the champion, runners-up. The organising board also gave appellations of the best coach for Binh Duong’s Le Thuî Hai. —

Educational authorities help the poor

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm

HCM City (VNA) – Preparing for the up-coming school year, educational authorities in Cuu Long ( Mekong ) Delta region passed new policies to facilitate children from poor households or remote areas attending school.

School fees have been reduced or subsidised for students who qualify for the policies or live in flood-prone provinces like An Giang or Dong Thap.

Local schools got several groups of teachers to meet and encourage parents to send their children to school. The schools also organised charity drives to collect books and school bags for poor students.-

Cambodia-bordering areas to receive more help

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

HCM City (VNA) – Government officials met in Ho Chi Minh City on Aug. 22 on a planning project for the areas bordering Cambodia to help local people raise their living conditions while consolidating the friendship with their neighbours.

Participants discussed investment solutions to develop infrastructure, policies for local people to settle down and promote production, measures to assist poor households and raising local people’s intellect.

The officials suggested the project be implemented till 2020 instead of the proposed deadline of 2015.

The project covers 109 communes lying along the Vietnam-Cambodia border line, which belong to Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, and Kien Giang provinces with a total of 225,000 households numbering around 1 million people.

It targets to provide dwellers in those communes with a complete infrastructure and financial assistance to spur socio-economic development, helping at least 155,000 households stabilise their lives and another 70,000 households settle in new places.

The project also looks to build 381 new resettlement sites to provide accommodation for 60,720 households.-

HCM City colleges get Singaporean overhaul

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

HCM CITY — Four vocational training colleges in HCM City will use teaching methodology learned in a Singaporean programme and then transfer those skills to other instructors.

The three-year, US$1.15 million programme was announced by city leaders, the city Department of Education and Training and representatives from the Singapore Polytechnic, and Temasek Foundation in a signing ceremony yesterday.

Tan Hang Cheong, dean of Singapore Polytechnic, said: “We will bring the city’s education sector a rod instead of a fish.”

The project, supported by Singapore-based Temasek Foundation and Singapore Polytechnic, aims to upgrade technical knowledge and modernise educational methodology for deans, experts and lecturers at vocational schools.

Following a one-week training course with foreign experts in HCM City, around 60 delegates from the four schools will be sent to Singapore to learn modern teaching methodologies in information technology and electrical engineering.

The 60 educators would be assigned to then transfer these skills to the city’s four vocational colleges and later to the remaining vocational schools in the city.

Huynh Cong Minh, head of the city Department of Education and Training said the city must raise awareness about the importance of vocational training, update educational equipment and train more experts.

He said Viet Nam’s educational system was lagging behind many other regional countries, and that more professional educators with international standards were needed to raise the quality of teaching and training courses. —

World Vision helps prevent trafficking

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Quang Tri (VNA) – Quang Tri authorities have approved a project to help prevent trafficking of women and children in Trieu Phong district.

The project has received 72,150 USD in funding from World Vision International.

The project, which will run until mid-2011, focuses on strengthening the community’s capacity to prevent trafficking, and support victims.-

Road accidents increase in rural areas

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Eight people, none wearing helmets, travel on two motorbikes on Highway 21B in Ha Noi’s Thanh Oai District. The lack of safety awareness is being blamed for a rise in the number of road accidents in rural areas. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

NAM DINH — More motorbikes are taking to the road, but traffic safety awareness remains limited and infrastructure insufficient, leaving rural areas at increased risk of accidents, according to Ho Nghia Dung, Minister of Transport and chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC).

“We don’t yet have figures on the number of accidents in rural areas nationwide over the years, but by viewing local incidents, we can tell it’s a growing trend,” said Nguyen Trong Thai, vice head of the NTSC standing office.

Traffic accidents happening in rural areas account from 18 to 20 per cent of the national total, and National Highway accidents 50 per cent, according to statistics from the NTSC.

In the last five years, motorbikes have become more popular in rural areas, especially those with developing industry and service professions. Some farmers have also raised their living standard through land compensation or wealth acquired abroad.

Quat Lam Town in Giao Thuy District, the northern province of Nam Dinh, is one example. Recently, living conditions have improved due to tourism and service development. But concurrently, the number of motorbikes on the road and accidents have increased.

There were seven more accidents in 2007 over 2006, and the number of accidents in the first six months of 2008 was equivalent to the whole of 2007, according to district police statistics.

“Along with the increasing number of vehicles, people’s lack of traffic safety knowledge is considered the biggest reason for accidents,” explained Thai.

For example, the regulation requiring motorbike drivers to wear helmets has been effective for eight months; however, many farmers have not followed the law.

In Ha Duc Commune of Chuong My District, Ha Noi, more than 50 per cent of drivers don’t wear helmets on hamlet and commune roads, according to traffic police. In the evenings, when police are off duty, 90 per cent of drivers don’t follow the regulation.

“Whenever I come back to my hometown in Giao Thuy District, I feel scared because a lot of young people are driving motorbikes fast without wearing helmets,” said Tran Thanh Tu, a 30-year-old man in Chuong My.

In addition, many drivers don’t bother to learn traffic laws, and children are given permission by their parents to drive motorbikes at early ages.

“I started driving a motorbike at the age of 16 when my father taught me. I drive my mother and a lot of goods to the market every morning where she sells vegetables and things,” said Nguyen Manh Tuan from Giao Thuy District, Nam Dinh Province.

Close relations between people in rural areas further complicate matters as police are likely to ignore traffic infractions made by relatives and friends.

Also, accessing a driver’s licence is still inconvenient as people must often travel long distances to sit for the district exam. Many farmers are busy and cannot take the time to travel such a long way, so they simply go without.

In Quat Lam Town, more than 30 per cent of motorbike drivers don’t have driver licences.

“In addition to people’s lack of knowledge about traffic safety, poor infrastructure in rural areas is also leading to increased accidents,” said Dung.

In many local areas, concrete roads have been built, so motorbikes can run at higher speeds, but accompanying necessities like signs and lights have not been installed.

In Que Vo District, the northern province of Bac Ninh, there are no lights or signs on the roads. Bat Phi Hamlet in Nhan Hoa Commune has only two intersection signs, and five intersections are in need.

Traffic safety

“According to Decree 32, the Ministry of Public Security issued document No 1207 on July 2, 2007 to allow police to be organised at local levels like in communes, wards and hamlets to directly ensure traffic safety,” said Thai.

There are around 60 million people living in rural areas nationwide and 115,036 local police. This means that one police officer is responsible for every 500 people.

“Clearly, the duties of the local police are very difficult at the moment,” said a local police officer in Nam Dinh Province.

“However, not all local police are aware of the importance of this role. It is time to improve local police activities related to traffic safety,” added Thai.

In the northern province of Hai Duong, provincial police are addressing the problem through a traffic safety campaign targeting rural areas, which began in April. Police from 238 communes and towns are working together on the campaign. As a result, in the first six months of 2008, there were only 16 accidents, a reduction of 47 per cent from 2007.

“Improving people’s awareness is a top priority so people can co-operate with local police to ensure traffic safety,” said Dung. —

VN funds projects marking 450 year old Vientiane

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – The Vietnamese government has assisted 84 billion VND (5.04 million USD) to build the Saysetha park and restore the Thatluong square in Vientiane, which are among 11 socio-cultural projects to mark the 450 th founding anniversary of the capital city (1560-2010).

Construction of the two projects, expected to be completed in October 2009 and October 2010, respectively, and the unknown soldiers monument started on August 23.

Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad stressed the importance and significance of those projects in the cultural life of the people of the Lao tribes as well as the people in the capital city. He thanked the Vietnamese government and people for their help.

Present at the ceremony were also Secretary of the Vientiane Party Committee Sombath Yialiheu, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Lao Nguyen Huy Quang.-