Fishing villagers go green

Monday, 2021-03-29 12:07:35
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A group of volunteers pick up trash at the beach in Ninh Hoa town
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NDO – Villagers in several fishing villages in Khanh Hoa province have been voluntarily engaging in activities to clean up the sea with the hope of protecting it from trash, particularly plastic waste. The green lifestyle has not only improved their living conditions but also helped them get closer to nature.

Trash-free villages

Over the past two years, Le Van Tam from Ba Ha 1 village in Ninh Hoa town has headed to the beach from dawn to collect garbage there. He said that since fishermen see the sea as a mother who brings them favours and bumper catches of fish and shrimp, keeping it clean is the common responsibility of every villager. He and his fellow villagers are very proud that Ba Ha 1 has been named by visitors a “trash free village”.

Local fisherman Nguyen Thanh recalled how, a few years ago, waves of garbage washed onto the beach after strong storms and high tides, flooding the village in rubbish and plastic waste and causing the risk of disease.

Since then, villagers have been committed to keeping their village and the sea as clean as possible. “As we earn our living from the sea, we are responsible for protecting it,” Thanh stressed.

For her part, Nguyen Thi Le has helped protect the sea by sorting waste and instructing children in the village to sort trash neatly in the right place. According to Le, cleaning up garbage from the sea requires experience because sometimes it gets buried in the sand, thus she has to rake and dig into the sand to get it out.

She recalled previous stormy seasons when trash was seen everywhere in the village after heavy rains, making villagers feel regretful for dumping their litter in the ocean.

Tran Thai Bao, Vice Chairman of the Ninh Thuy ward People’s Committee, said that locals in many other villages in the ward, including Ngan Ha, Thuy Dam, and My A residential area, have followed Ba Ha 1’s example in cleaning up the sea and joining hands to drive back ocean pollution.

Changing people’s behaviour

Members of the women’s association of Ninh Thuy ward join hands to collect plastic garbage at the beach.

In the past, locals in Ngan Ha village used to suffer from pink eye and skin diseases since they had to swim in coastal waters for fishing. Now, thanks to their higher awareness of pollution prevention, less garbage is present in the environment, thus diseases have been wiped out.

Tran Anh Tuan, a member of Ninh Thuy ward’s youth union recalled three years ago when storms washed tons of trash into the street, the local authorities called on youth union members, border soldiers, and villagers to join hands with garbage workers to collect waste.

Since then, the ‘Youth act for the environment and fight against plastic waste’ club was established by Ninh Thuy ward’s youth union.

Starting from less than 10 members whose working area was limited to Ngan Ha village, the club has attracted enthusiastic the participation of local fishermen and their families across Ninh Thuy ward, who volunteer to collect rubbish along the beach every week, thus keeping the environment clean, benefiting the community greatly.

To raise public awareness and protect the environment, old fishermen have set up big sign boards along the main road from Ba Ha 1 to the beach, stating the regulations on prohibiting destructive fishing and ocean pollution.

The change in locals’ behaviour has also resulted in an improvement in tourist products and services, thus helping attract more visitors to the locality.

Nguyen Duy Hieu, a frequent visitor to Ngan Ha village, said he was impressed by the clean and beautiful sea water and friendly locals in the village. During his trips, he often joins local fishermen to clean up the beach and is then invited to taste indigenous dishes prepared by locals.

Meanwhile, Pie Thomas, a tourist from the UK, said he felt lucky to breathe in clean air in the fishing villages in Khanh Hoa province. Therefore, he always volunteers to collect rubbish along the beach with locals.