In-depth
Nghe An raises alarm over pollution and labour safety
  • By Duy Tu | dtinews.vn | January 05, 2019 05:32 PM
The authorities in Nghe An Province have raised concerns about environmental pollution and work accidents in the area.


 

Nghe An raises alarm over pollution and labour safety


Hoang Viet Duong, vice chairman of Nghe An People's Council, said that many firms had been flouting the regulations about environmental protection as most industrial zones, industrial clusters and traditional villages lack wastewater treatment.

Quy Hop District is one of the most threatened areas due to the high numbers of mining firms. For example, a sludge reservoir leak at Suoi Thiec Company on Lan Toong Mountain last year badly affected local residents. Recently, locals in Tho Hop commune expressed anger over a stone cutting factory.

Another highlighted problem is the lack of awareness over labour safety in Nghe An. The majority of the workers are not given work-wear or protective gear even though they have to work in hazardous environments. It's easy to see workers using a flimsy rope tied around their waists while dangling from a cliff at mines in Quy Hop.

From 2016 to June 2018, 66 work accidents occurred in Nghe An, killing and injuring 81 people.

The provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment has set up many inspection teams to deal with the problem. They inspected 140 firms and collected over VND2.5bn (USD107m) in fines from 31 violating firms. 14 out of 19 polluting firms are state-owned.

Deputy head of the legal department of Nghe An People's Council, Thai Thi An Chung, said the responsibility of the district authorities must be made clear as management over toxic substances is lax and the review and inspection work over the environmental impact assessment reports was limited.

Since last year, the firefighting department and local authorities have worked together to inspect 6,949 locations and collected VND934m over fire safety problems.

After the local Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs also carry out inspections over worker safety, many firms have upgraded their equipment, however, this has been insufficient and workplace awareness about safety was still lacking.

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