Nearly 200 people engaged in clam farming in Hai An and Kien Thuy districts (Hai Phong), on the morning of August 11 gathered in front of the People’s Committee of Hai An district, to protest against the local government’s decision on seizing clam yards in these two districts.
Since the beginning of this year, representatives of thousands of households living off the clam farm in the two districts mentioned above, have also gone to Hanoi many times to file complaints at the central government offices and agencies about the decision to clearance of coastal clam shoals for sand exploitation by the Hai Phong city government.
A resident of clam farming in Hai An district for 20 years ago, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons, told RFA that, according to Decision 169 of Hai Phong City People’s Committee, in On August 15, the government will enforce and dismantle the watchtowers and stakes for clam farming in Hai An and Kien Thuy districts:
“The decision was made on administrative handling and forced relocation on August 15. Now, people are going to fight to stop the seizure, to protect their property and watchtowers.
Each time the complaint is about 200 people. Everyone has been to a number of agencies from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Minerals, etc. In general, they have been to many places, but any functional agencies come to help the people.”
RFA reporters repeatedly called the number of the Hai An District People’s Committee, which was posted on the Hai Phong City Portal to find out the details of the case, but no one answered the phone even during office hours.
This resident further informed RFA that since old times, when the Land Law had not been adopted, local residents have openly reclaimed and rehabilitated the coastal alluvial plains for aquaculture, according to the economic development of the State.
During the process of raising clams, oysters, don, etc before 1992, the households have not been warned and sanctioned by any authorities for administrative violations about this reclamation and farming.
Up to now, households have invested hundreds of billions of dong to expand farming production. If their farms are revoked, hundreds of households are considered totally lost:
“The government is taking away people’s land use rights. We reclaimed alluvial grounds, finished renovating, and then we did aquaculture according to the government’s policy of reclaiming and encroaching on the sea for economic development.
If they still insist on revoking now, who will be responsible for that amount of property? They are not negotiating compensation at all, they are forcing people into the situation of farming on unlicensed land and water.”
Since 2018, Hai Phong city has had a policy of re-planning and reducing the area of coastal clam farming areas to exploit sand.
According to the Hai Phong City Portal, in 2018, the People’s Committee of the Kien Thuy district issued Decision No. 635 on approving the planning of the Kien Thuy coastal clam farming area. Accordingly, the area of Kien Thuy coastal clam farming would decrease from more than 3,000 hectares to only 750 hectares.
On May 10, 2022, Hai Phong City People’s Committee issued Notice No. 232/TB-UBND on the relocation and clearance of illegal clam farming activities in areas where sand mining has been licensed in Hai An district and Kien Thuy district.
The content of this notice identifies households raising clams in the sea without a license from competent authorities, obstructing sand mining activities at sand mines licensed by the City People’s Committee, and hindering management activities. authority of the state. Therefore, the People’s Committee of Hai An district, Kien Thuy district had to relocate and clear this illegal clam farming operation.
People here do not agree with Notice No. 232, so they have submitted a complaint to the Government Inspectorate, asking the competent authority to consider and maintain the status quo so that households can continue to cultivate aquaculture to ensure the lives of the people.
On May 18, the Head of the Central Citizen Reception Committee, under the Government Inspectorate, sent a document to the Chairman of the Hai Phong City People’s Committee, requesting to consider, settle and respond to people’s complaints in accordance with the law.
On May 27, Hai Phong City People’s Committee issued a notice not to accept and settle people’s complaints about enforcement notice No. 232.
On June 20, Mr. Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of Hai Phong People’s Committee had a meeting with clam farmers in Hai An and Kien Thuy districts. Here, Mr. Tung affirmed that clam farming households violated the law and were not allowed to breed clams in this area. In the coming time, it will continue to move clam farming households out of the sand mining area.
Mr. Tung also asked these two districts to ensure security and order at the headquarters of the City People’s Committee.