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Polluted Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal | The Sorrow of Waste in the Heart of the City

March 8, 2024

More than 10 years ago, Ho Chi Minh City invested over 8,600 billion VND to renovate Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal, promising a green and refreshing space in the heart of the urban area. However, the current reality presents a heartbreaking image as the canal bears the brunt of a massive amount of waste. Despite the transformation of the banks, household waste such as plastic bottles, nylon bags, and styrofoam increasingly diminish the beauty and significance of the project. Notably, the lack of awareness among some individuals who directly dispose of garbage into the canal has escalated pollution, affecting not only the urban landscape but also the water environment and the health of the surrounding community.

Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal

Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal is one of the most crucial intra-urban waterways in Ho Chi Minh City. With a length of 9km, it originates from the Bến Cát - Tham Lương stream and flows into the Sài Gòn River, playing a vital role in drainage, transportation, and contributing to the city's landscape.


The canal has a long history, intertwined with the development of Saigon - Chợ Lớn. Originally named Bình Trị River, it was later changed to Bà Nghè River and finally became the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal, as documented in Gia Dinh Thanh Thong Chi.

The canal has been immortalized in various literary and musical works, becoming an integral part of the memories of Saigon residents. The meandering canal, bridges crossing over it, and the vibrant life along its banks have become poetic, musical, and iconic representations of the city.

Renovation and Development

Throughout its historical ups and downs, the Nhiêu Lộc - Thị Nghè Canal has faced severe pollution issues. However, in recent years, the city has invested in renovation, dredging, and the construction of a modern wastewater treatment system, significantly improving the canal's environmental quality.

Local authorities have made substantial investments in canal renovation, from dredging the canal bed to remove harmful black mud to building a modern wastewater treatment system. These efforts not only rejuvenate the environment surrounding the canal but also lay the foundation for sustainable development in the future.

Despite positive progress, the increasing severity of waste pollution poses significant challenges to the ongoing renovation efforts. This raises questions about community management and education, requiring collective efforts and cooperation to maintain and successfully develop these renovation initiatives.


Along the canal banks, household waste such as plastic bottles, nylon bags, and styrofoam surrounds the area. Moreover, many individuals thoughtlessly dispose of trash directly into the canal, exacerbating the pollution problem.

* Severe Consequences

Waste not only detracts from the urban aesthetics but also directly impacts the water environment. The canal water becomes heavily polluted, emitting a strong, foul odor, affecting the health of people living nearby.


A Call for Collective Environmental Protection

To address this issue, the concerted efforts of everyone are necessary. Each individual must raise awareness of environmental protection, reduce the use of single-use plastics, and dispose of trash in designated areas.

In addition, local authorities need to enhance awareness campaigns, educate the public, and take strict measures against violations.

Only through the collective efforts of the community can we restore the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal to a clean, beautiful, and green flow.

Read more: The state is currently investing nearly 6,000 billion Vietnamese dong in constructing the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe wastewater treatment plant, the largest in Southeast Asia, and is accelerating the construction progress to commence operations by June 2025.

Construction images of the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Wastewater Treatment Plant (Thu Duc City)

Let's join hands to protect the environment, safeguarding the Nhiêu Lộc - Thị Nghè Canal, an indispensable part of Ho Chi Minh City!

Read more: Saigon Green Team - Battling in the Environmental War

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