PHNOM PENH, Aug 16, 2011 (AFP) - Cambodia has moved to resolve a high-profile dispute about a mass eviction from a lakeside area in the capital after the World Bank froze lending to the impoverished nation over the row. In a letter seen by AFP Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said people refusing to leave the Boeung Kak lake area to make way for a private development could continue living there on a designated 12.44 hectares (30.7 acres) plot of land. The offer, which could save around one thousand families from eviction, came just days after the World Bank announced it would not provide new loans to Cambodia until the government found a solution for the lake residents. The rest of the roughly 126-hectare site would remain in the hands of a Chinese-Cambodian company headed by a ruling party politician that has been filling in the lake to build high-rise apartments and shops. The compromise comes too late for the more than 3,000 families who have left the area already, often after … [Read more...] about Cambodia offers deal to end lake eviction row
Lake area bank
Hanoi Times - For a long time, the beauty and reputation of the West Lake's lotus have been reflected in Vietnamese folk verse. Lotus flowers growing in the fertile mud of the West Lake are bigger andmore fragrant than those in other regions. While the Southern Vietnam is famous for Thap Muoi's lotus, in the Northern region, lotus flowers remind everyone of the WestLake in Hanoi. Although lotus-growing area here is not so immense, just about several hectares in some corners of the lake, the reputation of WestLake's lotus pervades all over. The perfume of lotus flowers has been with me since I was in cradle. When I was a child, every time the first lotus flowers open telling that a lotus season was coming, other children and I usually went swimming in the lake together and got lotus in the sunset. We picked up those flowers not to bring them to the market but because we loved playing with them. The flower cup separated out of lotus petals and tied with a thin thread became a humming-top … [Read more...] about West Lake Lotus
Hanoi authorities have set up a 7-member council to select capable design consulting organisations for a contest named "Ideas for planning and designing the HoanKiemLake area and its surrounding areas". According to the Vietnam Architects' Association, HoanKiemLake and its adjacent area is an urban architectural heritage of Hanoi and Vietnam so the Prime Minister requested that it make a detailed plan for this area and collect opinions of the people before submitting it to the Ministry of Construction for approval. "It is necessary to renovate and newly build architectural works around HoanKiemLake and its surrounding area but all activities must follow the plan," said Nguyen Tan Van, Chairman of the Vietnam Architects' Association. Since late 2007, the Vietnam Architects' Association has mentioned the need to have a detailed urban design for the HoanKiemLake area to be the foundation for managing construction activities in this area from now on. The association said it is ready to … [Read more...] about Design contest introduced for Hoan Kiem Lake area
Ba Be Lake in the national park of the same name, is slowly being filled up with rock and earth from the exploitation of iron ore. The lake, considered to be an important part of the cultural heritage of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is in the northern province of Bac Kan. It is listed as one of 20 significant lakes in the world that need protection, according to the International Conference on Lakes held in the United States in 1995. Professor Chu Hao, former Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, said if no measures were taken to prevent the destruction of the lake, it would be lost in a few decades. Poet Duong Thuan, whose home is in Bac Kan Province, said Ba Be Lake initially included six lakes connected to each other. However, in the past 40 years, three of them have been filled up. These were Pe Tau Lake in Cao Thuong Commune, Pe Vai and Pe Nan lakes in Khang Ninh Commune. Thuan said the Pe Leng, one of the three remaining lakes, was also … [Read more...] about Iron ore exploitation destroys lake in Ba Be National Park
The book, "Supporting the community in protecting lakes in six centre districts of Hanoi-Report on lakes in Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Cau Giay and Tay Ho districts" explores the dangerous state of the water in Hanoi. Water samples taken from more than 120 lakes in these districts showed that only 6 met the hygienic standards set forth by the survey with a limited amount of algae living in the water. Meanwhile, the majority of lakes is affected with organic substances, with 70% of them having substandard organic substance (DO) levels at below 4mg of DO per litre of water. Six lakes have DO levels lower than 1mg per litre of water which kills almost all microorganisms. Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5) surpasses acceptable levels in 71% of lakes; 14% suffer from severe pollution due to organic substances; 25% are heavily-contaminated and 32% show signs of pollution. Over 80% of the banks of lakes which have not yet been embanked are heavily polluted and many of them are … [Read more...] about The severe pollution of Hanoi’s precious lakes is the main topic of a book introduced on October 14.