Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — Residents of Vĩnh Linh District in the central province of Quảng Trị today started receiving compensation for losses from an environmental disaster earlier this year.
This is the first locality in the province to hand out compensation to residents from the US$500 million compensation package paid by Hưng Nghiệp Formasa-Hà Tĩnh Steel Company, the culprit of the toxic spill which caused the environmental disaster in four central coastal provinces from Hà Tĩnh to Thừa Thiên - Huế.
Vĩnh Linh District’s Vĩnh Thạch Communes today began paying a total of about VNĐ11.9 billion (US$532,000) to 257 owners and labourers of fishing vessels in Vịnh Mốc hamlet.
Nguyễn Thảo, a fisherman in the hamlet said his family endured a difficult time after the incident because fish could not be sold.
“The difficulty only eased a little bit when local authorities recently provided us with rice,” he said.
“We will use part of the compensation to shift to new jobs, while the rest will be used to buy more fishing tools and equipment to continue fishing.”
According to Trần Hữu Hùng, Chairman of Vĩnh Linh Distric’s People’s Committee, the district is one of the worst affected localities in the province.
Since the Government agreed on a compensation policy, the district’s authority has assessed damages and devised a list of affected people.
“In the next few days, compensation will be paid to people in other communes in the district,” he said.
In the first phase of payment, Quảng Trị Province has allocated about VNĐ200 billion ($8.9 million) to owners and labourers of fishing vessels.
According to inventory, in the province, more than 2,600 fishing vessels, over 4,778 labourers and 800 hectares of aquaculture areas suffered losses while nearly 16,000 labourers lost income due to the incident.
Since late October, three other affected provinces, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Thừa Thiên - Huế, have began paying compensation to their residents. — VNS