Phu Quoc, a beautiful island in Vietnam, is rising as one of the must-go destinations for both locals and foreign tourists. Though, the rapid tourism growth is threatening the nature and quality of life there.
In 2021, Phu Quoc continued to be in the top 100 most attractive destinations in the world as voted by TIME magazine (USA), with over 280 investment projects in the field of tourism in a total area of over 9,600 ha, total investment capital of over 352,000 billion VND; in which, there are leading brands in the world such as: Park Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Best Western, Four Seasons… and many large domestic corporations. Just in December 2021, as the Covid-19 situation got better, there were more than 420,000 tourists visiting Phu Quoc, with an expectation of a much higher number in the coming months.
Phu Quoc – a true paradise in Vietnam for both locals and foreigners (Source: bao lao dong)
With the rapid growth of tourism, Phu Quoc is facing a number of environmental problems that can negatively impact the experience of tourists and the quality of life of local residents. Duong Dong River has a length of 18km, is one of the largest and longest rivers on Phu Quoc Island, however, at present, it is heavily polluted, especially the section from Nguyen Trung Truc bridge to Hung Vuong bridge. This area has many residential houses, businesses, production facilities and boats.
About rainwater drainage and wastewater treatment although Phu Quoc has a total of 394km of sewer lines, recently, it has been partially flooded with heavy rains, some places being flooded more than 1m deep due to the rapid urban construction speed and high the urban density. Moreover, only a few high-class resorts on the island are equipped with wastewater collection and treatment system. The rest, most of the domestic wastewater of more than 144,000 people and thousands of production and business establishments on the island is discharged directly without treatment into rivers, streams, canals… and then into the sea. This situation makes Phu Quoc island polluted, affecting the quality of coastal sea water around the island, which is within the scope of Phu Quoc marine protected area.
Heavy pollution on Duong Dong River (Source: bao thanh nien)
According to Phu Quoc City People’s Committee, in August 2017, a waste power plant with a capacity of 200 tons/day in Ham Ninh commune (invested by Global Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company) was put into trial operation. However, the factory had been operating for a few months before it had to be suspended due to technical problems, after which, the factory was upgraded and repaired but still did not operate efficiently.
Immediate actions from the local government and businesses are necessary to keep Phu Quoc beautiful and green, as its name of the Pearl Island. Meanwhile, let’s do our best by minimising single-use plastics and always taking your own bottles while traveling!
By Tram Anh Pham
“Trâm Anh is a Hanoi-based sustainability promoter and writer. She is on the mission to create a sustainability movement for SMEs in Vietnam. She is the founder of Good Human, an environmental group with engaging contents and campaigns related to sustainability and circular economy. Get in touch with Trâm Anh at firstname.lastname@example.org for collaboration and partnership!