At the working session (Source: VNA)

Ha Tinh (VNA) – Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) Doan Mau Diep underlined the necessity to accurately investigate information related to the damage caused by the recent environmental incident in the central province of Ha Tinh, so as to give appropriate support for locals.

During a working session with representatives from the provincial People’s Committee and relevant departments on August 5, Diep stressed that the investigation and collection of information should avoid omission or duplication, he added.

Participants discussed support measures for locals who have been affected by the recent environmental incident, while putting forth ways to exactly define the damage and support level necessary for locals, towards ensuring social security in the locality.

According to reports of the provincial Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the incident has affected the jobs of up to 42,520 locals in Nghi Xuan, Nghi Loc, Thach Ha, Cam Xuyen and Ky Anh districts, and Ky An town, who specialised in fishing, fishery logistics and services business, salt production, aquaculture, and restaurant and hotel trading.

It has also impacted the livelihoods, income and living conditions of over 30,000 local households.

The local authorities have taken many measures to recover production and stabilise living conditions, including providing 3.7 tonnes of food to people in areas directly affected by the environmental pollution.

The local chapters of the provincial Calamities Relief Fund and the Vietnam Red Cross Association called on organisations and individuals to fund 12.3 billion VND and 30 tonnes of rice to affected people, while the province allocated money from its budget to purchase health insurance for over 9,000 people in affected families.

Poor and near-poor households hit by the outrage have been assisted to access low-interest loans for building fishing boats and switching to other jobs.

The local authorities plan to collect information concerning the incident in 56 communes with a total of 59,136 households and 215,433 people. The findings are expected to be reported to the MoLISA on August 20. In early April, large quantities of fish washed up near the Vung Ang Economic Zone in the central province of Ha Tinh. The incident stretched 200 kilometres along the central coast of Vietnam.

The hardest hit were Ha Tinh, Quang Tri , Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces where thousands of fishermen lost customers or were forced to sell fish at a loss.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel acknowledged that its 10.6 billion USD steel plant had been responsible for the massive fish deaths, pledging to pay 500 million USD in damages.-VNA