Vedan must pay compensation to farmer: SGGP reader

A reader writing to SGGP has said Vedan Vietnam, a Taiwanese MSG producer, must pay compensation to farmers who have suffered losses and damage due to Vedan’s direct discharge of untreated wastewater into Thi Vai river.

At present, Vedan still has 21 substandard wastewater treatment reservoirs in operation

After a trip to the river on May 11 to inspect the results of Vedan Vietnam’s clean-up of the pollution, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Pham Khoi Nguyen, concluded that the river is now cleaner and its disgusting odor has diminished.

The proof of a healthier Thi Vai is the return of many kinds of shrimp and fish to the river.

It took Vedan to be caught red-handed, discharging untreated waste water into the environment, before they repaired the damage by building a wastewater treatment system as legally required.

The improvements in the river also indicates Vedan was the main polluter, as measures to clean up its untreated water have had clear, positive results.

But when asked to make compensation to farmers who had directly suffered losses and damages, Vedan denied responsibility, saying that it is not the only culprit involved in the scandal.

It is true that Vedan is not the sole company that has polluted the river with untreated wastewater. Investigations conducted by authorities have, however, pointed out that of all the drainage systems of discharged untreated wastewater into the river, Vedan’s was the largest.

Although life in Thi Vai River has now begun to gradually recover, the public is still indignant about the irresponsibility of unprincipled businesses that are ready to damage the environment, for whatever reason, for the sake of quick profits.

The public wonders whether or not relevant authorities have leant a lesson about loose management of environmental pollution and opened their eyes to the tricks of companies like Vedan.

To protect the interests of thousands of farmers who are living along the bank of Thi Vai River, and who have suffered losses and damages from the environmental pollution mainly caused by Vedan, it is proposed that the inspection team from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment  work with municipal authorities to force Vedan to pay compensation to the farmers.

It is not acceptable for Vedan to pay small amounts of money to affected farmers through negotiations and consider them “financial support.” Forcing Vedan to pay compensation to farmers will not only give farmers justice, but will also be a warning to any foreign and local companies that deliberately ignore environmental regulations for the sake of their fat profits.  

By Le Tran Chi – Translated by Phuong Lan

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