The community in Doung village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane will not accept any compensation which will allow the factory processing waste from a brewery to continue releasing pollution.
Village Chief Mr. Sinakhone Khottaphom relayed this message while talking to Vientiane Times during a field trip to seek facts after increasing complaints from the community about the impact of the factory on them.
“The factory owner has even suggested building infrastructure facilities for the community to compensate for the environmental impact, but we will not accept any offer where the factory continues to release pollution which impacts upon on villagers,” the village chief said.
According to Mr. Sinakhone,the factory appeared in the village early last year at the site of A2B Recycle, which was set up in 2012 by Mr. Xayadeth Vongxay to turn waste plastics and metal into useable products.
Villagers said that factory, which processed metals and plastics had not caused any problems, but the new one, which processes waste from a brewery has had an adverse impact since beginning operations.
Vientiane Department of Industry and Commerce issued an announcement dated September 9 ordering the owner to permanently stop factory operations, which was also illegally established.
The village chief stressed the business was unlicensed, polluting the environment and affecting people’s health, so should cease operations.
He revealed he had received daily pressure from the residents, who asked him if he was being bribed as the factory continued to run its machines.
“I told my villagers that I have no power to order the action,” Mr. Sinakhone said.
Villagers said they praised the business for creating jobs for local people, but commented that this was at the expense of their health.
Meanwhile, the village chief told Vientiane Times about the grassroots authority submitting residents’ concerns to the capital’s People’s Council several days ago, and the council replied that they would visit the village soon.
During yesterday’s field trip, Vientiane Times found the factory running but emitting little in the way of fumes or bad smells which may have been because of the wind blowing.
Residents said the clouds of fumes and bad odours were less of a problem during the day, but the situation got worse in late afternoon and especially at night when they tried to sleep.
A housewife, who lives around 500 metres from the factory, said she asked her relatives who live in another village not to bring their baby to visit her for the sake of their health.
Source: Vientiane Times