"I'm extremely happy to report that we now have full support from the government! I also invited the mayor [chairman] of Hanoi to plant a tree with us, when he has time. Now, we will have a chance to see what is really possible when everybody works together. Thanks for all your passion everyone! It's time to build our network in all the districts!" James Joseph Kendall, one of the foreigners that helped clean the channel, said. Photo: Keep Hanoi Clean's Facebook group.
After upsetting local authorities for failure to obtain a permit to clean the channel, the group "Keep Hanoi Clean" has received the backing of Hanoi’s top official and a Hanoi badge for their contribution to the capital, according to the group's Facebook page.
Photo: Keep Hanoi Clean's Facebook group.
On the morning of May 15, with simple protection, a multi-national group made up of expats and Vietnamese braved all to clean a black channel full of trash in the capital. The event happened on the street of Nguyen Khang, Cau Giay district, Hanoi - what should have been done by the locals for their own good. The deed stunned scores of passers-by, who are all too used to the dirty channel.
The clip of those do-gooders went viral on the internet, drawing huge amount of attention from Vietnamese netizens. Sweet nothing poured in from every corner of Vietnam hailing the act of valor done by the group, causing one to wonder if it’s the locals’ ignorance that gave the group a chance to prove their love for the environment.
The channel before the foreigners come. Photo: Facebook
Much to everybody’s surprise, official reply by authorities was one about the group’s failure to get permission to clean the channel. Local authorities also raised their voice over the credit the cleaning team received which led to the conclusion by so many hotheads that authorities did nothing to help clean the channel.
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