Hanoi faces swimming pool shortage
  • | hanoimoi, | June 12, 2019 11:17 AM
Hanoi is planning to build more swimming pools in order to teach swimming to children.


A swimming lesson in Me Linh District

Thousands of deaths have been caused by drowning with many of the victims being children. Statistics from Hanoi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs show that since early 2018, drowning was the leading cause of death among children with 53 victims. 10 cases were in Ba Vi District, with the remainder in Dan Phuong, Soc Son and Chuong My districts.

Hanoi authorities have a plan for swimming lessons and a drowning prevention programme during the 2016-2020 period, however, most districts don't have swimming pools so the programme is not very effective.

According to Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, by the end of May, the city had 291 quality swimming pools that are managed by the local authorities. Eight out of 18 communes in Me Linh District are located by the Red River but there are only eight pools. My Duc District has two, Ung Hoa has three, and Phu Xuyen has four pools.

Private pools have high entrance fees so many children can't afford to go swimming on a regular basis.

"We have provided a fund to build seven smart pools to encourage more children to learn swimming. However, it only met 30% of demand," said Nguyen Thi Thuyen, director of Centre for Culture, Information and Sports My Duc District.

The Department of Culture and Sports blamed bad urban planning for the lack of swimming pools. Many cultural and sports centres also don't have swimming pools. The locality authorities have attempted to shift the responsibility onto the private sector to build swimming pools for children, however, due to the land shortage, low revenue and high investment cost, the plan proved ineffective.

Since 2016, Hanoi authorities have built 31 mini pools and 80 smart pools at schools but they still can't meet the demand from schools and the public.

To Van Dong, director of the Department of Culture and Sport, said that the Department of Education and Training would be asked to set up a plan to build more pools at primary and secondary schools and make swimming a mandatory subject. District and ward authorities must also have land for swimming pools, especially in residential areas that located near rivers.

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