|Wastewater treatment system of the Sonadezi Long Thanh Company.—Photo dantri.vn
HA NOI (VNS
)– Residents of southern Dong Nai Province's Long Thanh District are disappointed after receiving only 30 per cent of their compensation from Sonadezi Long Thanh Company, which polluted their waterways and destroyed their livelihoods.
A total of 169 households in the district were awarded compensation from the company, which collected waste water from 42 other companies in the Long Thanh Industrial Zone for treatment.
The Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and Environment estimates that Sonadezi discharged untreated waste water into the Ba Cheo Canal from 2008 to August 2011, seriously polluting its waters.
The pollution badly affected local residents who engaged in farming, fish breeding and animal husbandry along the canal.
The company was asked to compensate local farmers to a total of VND11.8 billion (US$561,900). The households receiving the highest amount of compensation would get more than VND1.2 billion ($57,100) and those receiving the least money would receive VND255,000 ($12).
However, the company said on Thursday that it could only pay VND3.6 billion ($171,400) now and would pay the remainder by mid-2013.
Its chief executive officer, Do Thi Thu Hang, explained that she had to wait for the shareholders meeting to reach agreement on the compensation.
She also said that the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment under the HCM City National University had only informed them of the compensation amount recently and the company did not have enough time to prepare the entire amount.
About 40 households did not agree with the amount of compensation.
Nguyen Van Trai, a farmer who would receive VND33 million ($1,570), said the calculations had a lot of shortcomings.
"We wanted the company to quote in public the different prices for different products but they would not. I will not accept the compensation and will continue suing until I receive a proper explanation," he said.
Vo Van Luat, chairman of the Tam An Commune People's Committee, said farmers should not be too worried it they did not receive the full compensation ordered as the company had pledged to fulfill its obligations by the middle of this year.
He added that the committee had advised residents who were not satisfied about the compensation that they should state their complaints in writing.
"The committee will send the letters to the provincial people's committee for consideration. We will try our best to help local farmers receive the compensation before the Tet holiday," he said. — VNS