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Poko River pollution worries coffee growers

Over the past three days, people in Dak To District’s Tan Canh Commune have had to pump polluted water from Poko River to water their plants.

This is worrying for the coffee growers here.

Local residents said that the Poko River water has a foul smell and has accumulated starch residue in it.

They attribute the pollution to the untreated water being released into the river by two factories located upstream, the Fococev cassava starch processing factory in Ngoc Hoi District and the Phuong Hoa cassava starch processing factory in Dak Glei District.

According to local resident Tran Thin, the appearance of starch residues in Poko River’s waters is uncommon, because earlier, the water was muddy whenever the river became dry.

If farmers use the polluted water for watering coffee plants, it will affect their productivity, he said.

Thin said that his family’s coffee productivity has fallen over the past three years from three tonnes to 2.2 tonnes.

Earlier, Kon Tum Province’s environmental crime prevention department found that Fococev was illegally discharging untreated waste into the Poko River. They discovered that the plant’s two wastewater pipes were installed in places that are sparsely populated. Ever since the plant became operational two years ago, it has received several complaints from local residents about environment pollution in the area.

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