Polluter offers farmers low compensation

Vedan Vietnam, the MSG-maker that directly dumped wastewater into Thi Vai River, yesterday officially announced that it will give VND25 billion (US$1.43 million) as compensation to farmers in HCM City, and Dong Nai and Ba Ria Provinces.

In an official letter to the farmers’ associations of HCM City, and Dong Nai and Ba Ria Provinces, lawyer Hoang Nhu Vinh, a Vietnam Vedan representative, said that Vedan will directly pay VND20 billion to farmers who suffered losses and damages.

A total of VND7 billion will go to farmers in Can Gio District, HCM City, and VND7 billion to farmers of Long Thanh and Nhon Trach Districts in Dong Nai Province. Farmers of Tan Thanh District in Ba Ria Province will receive VND6 billion.

Vedan will also set up a VND5 billion fund to give support to farmers to expand agriculture and develop agricultural infrastructure in the regions. The fund will also help local farmers change their jobs by setting up vocational schools and career guidance centers.

Mr. Vinh said that only farmers living within regions affected by Vedan’s wastewater can get compensation. Farmers are required to have official papers for their cultivated land. Enterprises must have business or project licenses.

Farmers who have received money from a fund that helped them change careers, between 1996 and 1997, will not be entitled to the compensation, added Vinh.

According to latest reports, over 7,000 farmers have claimed compensation worth more than VND200 billion from Vedan for their losses and damages.

HCM City Farmers’ Association says that the compensation level offered by Vedan is too low, only 10 percent compared with the total amount claimed by farmers.  

By L. Long Translated by Phuong Lan

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