Viet Nam News
CENTRAL REGION — Compensation for the affected population in the four central coastal provinces – Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, and Thừa Thiên Huế – by the Formosa environmental incident in April last year has been “basically completed," according to local authorities.
By July 7, localities in Hà Tĩnh Province had disbursed compensation worth VNĐ1.35 trillion (US$59 million), 85 per cent of the total package for the province.
According to the council on assessment of environmental damage for Hà Tĩnh Province, the province is expected to receive VNĐ 1.65 trillion ($72.5 million) in compensation; VNĐ 1.599 trillion ($70 million) of this figure has been approved by the provincial People’s Committee. Currently, VNĐ 248 billion ($10.9 million) has not been handed out, either because related documents are still being prepared for being made public, or from cases under review as a result of complaints.
In Quảng Bình Province, so far, VNĐ 2.2 trillion ($96 million) in compensation has been handed out, 98 per cent of the total advance from the state. Đồng Hới City has finished its compensation disbursement, followed by other localities like Ba Đồn Commune and Bố Trạch Commune, with each having disbursed 99.5 per cent of allocated compensation.
Phan Văn Khoa, head of Quảng Bình Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the delays in the disbursement in some localities were because some households were unhappy with the settlements and are demanding talks with authorities.
In Quảng Trị Province, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Finance has delivered VNĐ 970 billion ($42.6 million) to the province. VNĐ 909 billion ($39.9 million), or 93 per cent of the state-granted compensation has been doled out to four coastal districts affected by the pollution – Hải Lăng, Triệu Phong, Gio Linh, and Vĩnh Linh.
’Back to normal’
The remaining VNĐ 61 billion will be used to compensate those indirectly affected, though eligibility is still being reviewed, therefore Quảng Trị failed to meet the Government’s compensation deadline.
In Thừa Thiên – Huế Province, according to vice chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Phương, the province has disbursed VNĐ 9.23 trillion ($405 million), or 91.47 per cent of the compensation worth VNĐ 10.1 trillion ($443.9 million) it received in advance from the state. The rest of the package has not been handed out because the recipients are working in other provinces and have yet to claim it or are ineligible for compensation after review. Phương said the province’s localities are doing their best to complete the process before July 15.
According to Thừa Thiên – Huế Province People’s Committee, one year after the toxic spill, the social order and people’s livelihoods of the coastal areas have “basically returned to normal.”
15 months ago, mass fish deaths occurred in the four central provinces of Việt Nam, with the disaster deemed to be caused by toxic discharge released from the Taiwan-based steel company Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh.
The company agreed to compensate the affected population – estimated at 260,000 people in the four provinces – to the tune of $500 million. — VNS