Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has signed a decision on the establishment of a steering committee on measures to stabilise lives and production in four central provinces affected by the serious environment incident.

The committee, led by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, will have 19 members representing ministries, the Government Office, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and Chairpersons of the People’s Committees of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoNRE) is assigned to serve as the committee’s standing office.

The MoNRE is to establish a working group to assess the damages, calculate compensation and offer support to victims in restoring production or switching to other livelihoods.

Headed by a MoNRE senior official, the group will comprise representatives from ministries, agencies and authorities from the four provinces.

The incident occurred in April when a large number of dead fish along the coast were first discovered in Ky Anh township, Ha Tinh province on April 6, then spread to Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

It is estimated that some 15 tonnes of natural fish and 2 tonnes of farmed fish died in Ha Tinh province. Meanwhile in Thua Thien-Hue, some 30 tonnes of natural fish died and were washed up on beaches.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths. The pollution damaged about 400 hectares of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living by working in sea-related activities.

The company pledged to compensate over 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD), which will be used to support local fishermen in changing their jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment. It also vowed to deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment.-VNA