Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Residents in four central provinces have received Government compensation of more than VNĐ6.1 trillion (US$275.2 million) for the April 2016 mass fish kill in which 70 tonnes of fish died, affecting the livelihoods of 260,000 people, due to pollution by the Taiwanese steel company Formosa.
The money accounts for 97.4 per cent of the losses, according to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The information was released in a conference held on Wednesday in the Governmental Office in Hà Nội. The conference, chaired by Standing Deputy Prime Minister and member of the Politburo Trương Hòa Bình, was the 10th held by the Steering Committee charged with aiding people in the four affected central coastal provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế.
At present, three provinces have not completely disbursed the compensation because the residents suffering losses were not present at the localities, or had complaints about their compensation that are still being resolved.
The four provinces that suffered the incident proposed to upgrade or build new shelters, ports, wharf, fish markets and roads to the sea and to the manufacturing areas and irrigational works, in order to help seamen stabilise their lives. The provinces also collected money from the Government agencies and distributed it directly to residents.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy PM Bình said that the compensation had been basically completely disbursed. The remaining 3 per cent could be sent to the banks to wait until the residents returned to their localities to complete the claims process.
The Government has approved the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s project to set up a system of giving warnings on environmental issues in four central provinces.
The ministry checked the maritime environment in the four central provinces, sent results to the people’s committees of the four provinces and informed the public on multiple media channels about the present environmental condition one year after the incident.
Deputy PM Bình emphasised that the compensation must be paid in a precise, public and transparent manner so that the money will be distributed to the right people. He asked provinces to fully complete the compensation within next month.
The mass fish deaths were first reported on April 6 last year when a large number of fish washed ashore in Hà Tĩnh Province. The incident also occurred in Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên – Huế provinces.
Thừa Thiên – Huế alone reported that 35 tonnes of farm-raised fish had died.
In June last year, Formosa accepted responsibility for the fish deaths and pledged compensation to local fishermen and to help renew the polluted marine environment. — VNS