Mister Võ Van Thành is precursor: he is the head of a ward in Lac Hà and visits the people, door to door, to ask the people not to throw plastic waste anymore. He collects them, not to burn them but for recycling! Every month there are about 200 kilos, which are sold 7 €, enough for 4 scholarships! This is a visible impact of our efforts during the last 10 years, we encourage all pupils to collect plastic waste, with the double benefit of a major psychological impact and the proceeds of the sale for recycling.
Copenhague or not, development programs can never neglect the environment. Besides the collected plastic waste (over 100 tons/year), Mekong Plus promotes biogas. Each small installation (40 €) saves one tree every month (what is consumed by one household in firewood), and burns the dangerous methane gas (one unit of which is equivalent to 21 units of CO2). Several thousands have been installed already.
Almost all Vietnamese farmers use much too much chemicals. This damages the soil, people are poisoned. It is not rare to feel the terrible smell when one walks through the paddy fields or the small rural markets! We train 145 farmers, on the average each month, and the main focus is better agricultural practices. The farmers benefits: he is encouraged to spend less! Many say: “I put more, to be sure!”
Did you know that world wide we generate almost more waste than we produce cereals?! In remote rural areas there is no money for waste dumping sites. For almost 6 years we have tried hard to recycle waste, with a minimum capital investment. Against the many “You will never succeed” and raising shoulders. Today we can produce 10 tons of compost per month and the costs are almost covered by the sales proceeds.
With Terre d’Oc (www.terredoc.com), our industrial partner, we export every month about one ton of incense sticks, half a ton of rattan goods etc. We reafforest by planting rare species and rattan, which has become extinct in many regions.
Well, don’t you think that the Mekong Plus color has been a good choice?
Bernard KERVYN, le 23 novembre 2009.