Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình has requested four inspection teams to examine the compensation for residents affected by the marine environment incident in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế last year.
Deputy PM Bình, who is head of the steering committee in charge of resolving the Formosa incident’s aftermath, made the request during a committee meeting in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
The leader also asked the four provinces to set up their own inspection teams to collect feedback from locals and administrators in order to promptly deal with difficulties and accelerate the payment for affected residents.
Deputy PM Bình reminded provinces to ensure public order to prevent false incidents or corruption during the compensation procedure.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported that, so far, environment improvement in four central provinces remains basically stable. According to the bold ‘report’, local residents are satisfied with the Government’s policies in resolving the incident, and local lives are gradually improving.
Environmental supervision, aquatic ecological system recovery and reproduction, professional training, jobs creation and manufacture development have all improved, the MARD report boldly said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc allocated an advance of VNĐ4.68 trillion (over US$207 million) for these provinces. By Monday, the localities had disbursed almost VNĐ3.6 trillion, or 76.8 per cent of the total, as damages for the targeted households. By December 31 last year, concerned agencies had provided 15,027 tonnes of rice free of charge and VNĐ59 billion ($2.56 million) for fishermen as directed by the Government.
Regarding the tasks in the near future, Deputy PM Bình asked ministries and agencies to swiftly submit a proposal to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on the compensation quota for victims and to continue overseeing the Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation’s fulfillment of its commitments.
The mass fish death first started on April 6 last year in Kỳ Anh Town in Hà Tĩnh Province - the place where Formosa Hà Tĩnh is located. Within the next nine days, fishermen and local residents along the central coast found themselves panicking when tonnes of dead fish continuously washed up ashore southwards, from Quảng Bình to Quảng Trị and later down to Thừa Thiên-Huế, just dozens of kilometres away from the famous tourism city of Đà Nẵng.
Initial statistics from the four provinces reported some 277 tonnes of dead fish – both washed up on the beaches and farmed fish from the sea, causing estimated economic losses totaling more than VNĐ260 billion ($11.5 million). Further, at least 123,000 fishermen and locals who rely on the sea for a living or who work in the tourism industry were severely affected by the incident.
Formosa later acknowledged having imported 296 tonnes of some 40 different types of chemicals in the first quarter this year, many of which experts said to be “poisonous and very poisonous” to human and animal beings.
The company then pledged $500 million in compensation for the affected people in the central region. — VNS