Brave Sewer Cleaners in Ho Chi Minh

Vietnam Unique Story: Brave Sewer Cleaners in Ho Chi Minh


These brave sewer cleaners in Ho Chi Minh make sure every drainage in the city works well even during rain.

The father and son tandem of Nguyen Phu Ho and Nguyen Thanh Son spends quite some time under the streets of Ho Chi Minh to take out any mud and sludge that can block the drainage system of the city.

Both are employed by the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Drainage Company and have years of experience in what they do.

Nguyen Phu Ho has been in the company for 30 years and his son, Nguyen Thanh Son has 12 years of cleaning the sewers.

On typical days, they only need to clean the sewers once a month however, it is a different scenario during the rainy season.

Equipped with helmets, flashlights and buckets the tandem have to do a daily clean up every day during the rainy season to prevent any flooding in the streets of Ho Chi Minh.

They have to be on stand by three meters underground until the water level goes down enough for them to move safely. They both have to manually scoop out the mud mixed with undesirable stuffing in it.

According to Son, he was not able to take the university exam and didn’t know what to do with his life. His father then suggested that he work at the sewers with him.

He gladly took it and tried. Despite the irritating heat inside the sewers, Son is satisfied with what he earns and being able to work with his father.

On the other hand, Ho who have been in the service for three decades have experienced getting hurt by sharp objects that flowed through the sewers. He then has to get a vaccine to keep him from any infection.

Once their buckets are full, they then have to be lifted by their colleagues who are basically waiting outside. Each bucket can contain approximately 100kg of mud mixed with trash from the sewers.

In a day, their team would be able collect four tons of mud and trash from the sewers. According to Hong, he needed to shower at least 5 times after their shift and even brought shampoo, soap and clothes for change. Otherwise it will be totally itchy.

The father and son are residing in a 30 square meter home at the Go Vap District’s Le Duc Tho Street where they relax with their family after work.

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