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Complaints about factory's pollution go unheeded

Some 40 households in Doung village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane, are still complaining about air pollution and bad smells coming from a nearby recycling factory.

Xaysettha district officials have reported the problem to the Vientiane authorities on several occasions but the matter has still not been resolved.

District governor Mr Thanom Thanthong told Vientiane Times the factory recycles waste from a brewery in the city.

Local officials say the villagers have been directly affected by pollution coming from the plant. It has been operating for about one year and releases clouds of smoke and dirty water that give off bad smells.

Mr Thanom said village officials and residents had asked for authorities' help on many occasions.

Authorities visited the factory and warned the management while the Lao owner of the plant said the problem would be resolved. But the factory continues to discharge strong smelling plumes of smoke, affecting some 40 households within a two kilometre radius.

“Local homeowners have called us saying they were suffering from the factory's bad smells. When we surveyed the area we found the residents' complaints to be justified,” an official said.

Doung village Chief Mr Sinakhone Khottaphom said the recycling factory was not registered with village officials.

Locals say the smell has affected their health, causing sore throats and eyes and affecting their breathing, but the factory owner rejects these complaints.

Mr Sinakhone said the Natural Resources and Environment Department had asked the owner to move the factory to another area that was more suitable and where it would not harm the environment or cause health problems.

This is not the first such problem to occur in Vientiane. Similar issues have been reported in Nonkhilek village in Sikhottabong district, which have also yet to be resolved.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
September 29,

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