Quang Tri strives to create sustainable livelihoods for local fishermen

Saturday, 2016-07-09 22:24:58
 Font Size:     |        Print

NDO/VNA – The central province of Quang Tri has allocated VND9 billion (US$405,000) and 800 tonnes of rice to local fishermen affected by the recent mass fish deaths.

The locality has also injected VND3.7 billion (US$166,500) sourced from its budget into branches of the provincial Bank for Social Policy to help coastal residents take out loans.

The provincial People’s Committee has instructed localities to join hands with social organisations to evaluate losses caused by the environmental incident, and with the banks to launch credit packages to help local farmers find new jobs, purchase big fishing boats and expand fishery logistics services.

Nguyen Duc Chinh, Chairman of the committee, said the most urgent task is to create sustainable livelihood for local people.

He added that the committee has assigned the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to open employment transaction floors to train young workers for businesses based in the locality.

However, locals share the desire for a restored maritime environment, he said, calling on competent agencies to set up monitoring stations regularly updating the maritime environment quality.

Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Limited Company Chairman Chen Yuan Cheng on June 30 accepted responsibility and offered an apology to Vietnamese people, especially the residents in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces for causing the environmental problem sparking mass fish deaths, seriously affecting the people’s daily lives and production, as well as the local maritime environment.

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 VND260 billion (US$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. This has not taken into account the damages to the local environment.

On June 30, Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company, after admitting its link to the fish deaths, offered a total compensation of VND11.5 trillion (equivalent to US$500 million), which will be used to support local fishermen to switch to other jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment.

In the same vein, Formosa pledged to deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment, improve its production technologies to ensure waste is completely treated before being discharged to the environment as required by Vietnamese State management agencies, and not to repeat such incident.