Viet Nam News
HÀ TĨNH – People from Hà Tĩnh Province’s Lộc Hà District, one of the worst affected by the marine environment disaster earlier this year, started getting compensation on Sunday.
The district’s compensation package is around VNĐ 270 billion (US$ 9.3 million).
The district government had approved the compensation package for damages as a result of a toxic spill caused by Hưng Nghiệp Formasa-Hà Tĩnh Steel Company.
Lộc Hà is the first district in Hà Tĩnh Province to have started handing out compensation to affected people as part of the US$500 million package that Formosa has pledged.
Around 5,000 workers in the district have been directly affected by the pollution, while another 744 have been indirectly hit.
Thịnh Lộc and Thạch Mỹ communes in the district will be the first to receive compensation, to the tune of VNĐ 20 billion (US$ 896,000). On Sunday, 15 vessel owners and 15 workers in Quang Trung Village, Thịnh Lộc Commune, got compensation worth VNĐ 1.5 billion (US$ 67,200).
Payment will continue to be handed out to people in Lộc Hà District in the following days. Hà Tĩnh’s provincial Party’s Committee secretary, Lê Đình Sơn, and vice-chairman of the People’s Committee, Đặng Ngọc Sơn, are overseeing the payment.
“I hope people will overcome their difficulties and continue to use the ocean. It’s essential that people use their compensation appropriately. The management board in charge of compensation payment must make the process as easy as possible for those affected. It must check carefully and hand over aid to the right people,” Sơn said.
Hà Tĩnh People’s Committee announced that on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình will attend and oversee the payment sessions in Thạch Kim Commune, Lộc Hà District. Later in the day, he will meet with representatives of people’s committees from the four provinces affected by the spill.
As per the latest inventory (October 9), in Hà Tĩnh, around 7,000 fishing vessels, 2,260 hectares of ponds, lakes and tidal flats, 31,700 cubic metres of cage farming, 127 hectares of salt fields plus nearly 48,000 workers and fishermen have been affected by the toxic spill. Aquaculture products left in the storage stands at nearly 1,800 tonnes.
The total damage to Hà Tĩnh is estimated at VNĐ 2 trillion (US$ 89.6 million), of which VNĐ 1.,98 trillion is direct loss. – VNS