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6 Sep 2016

Roseanne Gerin, Radio Free Asia

Vietnam: After Formosa Plastics’ pledge to pay damages for fish kill, thousands protest claiming no compensation has reached them

"Vietnamese Parishioners March to Protest Lack of Compensation From Fish Kill", 1 Sept 2016

Thousands of parishioners from the Roman Catholic diocese of Vinh in central Vietnam took to the streets...to protest against the Taiwanese steel firm whose local operations polluted the country’s central coastal area and caused the nation’s worst environmental disaster.

The members of Quy Hoa and Phu Yen parishes protested against a Formosa Plastics Group steel plant responsible for a release of toxic chemicals in April that killed tons of marine life and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless in four provinces.

In June, the company acknowledged it was responsible for the pollution that killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and pledged to pay $500 million to clean it up and compensate those affected by it.

The government said in a report to the National Assembly in July that the disaster had harmed the livelihoods of more than 200,000 people, including 41,000 fishermen.

About 3,000 parishioners from a church in Quy Hoa parish marched to the People’s Committee office in Ky Anh township of Ha Tinh province, where the dead fish were first detected, said Nguyen Thanh Lang, head of the parish’s ministry administration.

“Life is too difficult for us,” Lang said. “It has been four months since Formosa caused the pollution and people still have no jobs. [And] our children can’t go to school.”...

“Formosa paid U.S. $500 million [for the pollution], but the government has not paid the people,” said Nguyen Thi Phan, another protester. “We are looking for money to send our children to school.”...

Part of the following stories

Vietnam: Fish deaths blamed on Formosa Plastics; Taiwan Court dismisses Vietnamese farmers' lawsuit over environmental damage

Formosa Plastics lawsuit (re marine pollution in Vietnam, filed in Vietnam)