On April 6, 2016, a spill that polluted 125 miles of coastline and killed 115 tons of fish left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless. Two months later, Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group acknowledged that they were responsible for the release of the chemicals form its steel plant located in the deep-water port in Ha Tinh province’s Ky Anh district. The company voluntarily gave $500 million USD to clean up the spill and compensate those affected by the spill. However, the Vietnamese government has withheld some of the money and spread the payments out to families unevenly. Consequently, on July 3rd, almost 1,000 Catholics marched to the local People’s Committee to demand the rest of their compensation and loss of livelihoods for this toxic spill. However, the protestors were ignored and there is speculation that local police hired thugs to beat the Catholics affected by the toxic waste spill and vandalize the local church’s property as punishment for their protests over the handling of the payouts.
07/17/2017 Vietnam (RFA) – About 1,000 Roman Catholics from a village in central Vietnam’s Quang Binh province marched to the local People’s Committee office on Monday to demand compensation for lost livelihoods caused by a toxic waste spill that occurred along the country’s central coast more than a year ago, a priest who led the gathering said.
A quarter of the 4,000 parishioners of Con Nam church in Quang Minh village of Badon town called on local administrators to pay them for losses they have suffered from the spill that polluted more than 125 miles of coastline along four coastal provinces, including Quang Binh, said Father Truong Van Thuc.
The April 6, 2016, environmental disaster killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless.
Two months later, Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group acknowledged it was responsible for the release of the chemicals from its massive steel plant located at the deep-water port in Ha Tinh province’s Ky Anh district.
The company voluntarily paid U.S. $500 million to clean up and compensate those affected by the spill, but the slow and uneven payout of the funds by the Vietnamese government has prompted protests which continue to be held more than a year after the disaster.