Fisherfolk affected by Rio Cobre effluent spill to get less than anticipated compensation pay-out

Individuals and companies adversely affected by the July/August effluent spill and subsequent fish kill in the Rio Cobre, St. Catherine, will be getting less than they anticipated for compensation pay-out.


This as the $117 million bond, from bauxite company UC Rusal/Windalco is not enough to cover the amounts being sought by some affected groups.


A statement from the Environment Ministry pointed out that over $223 million was requested, but following an assessment, the government indicated that the only over $115 million will be disbursed.


Of this $115 million, over $55 million will go towards NEPA / NRCA remediation works.


The NEPA/NRCA allocation includes $16 million to compensate fisherfolk.


This is $41 million less than the over $57 million the fisherfolk had requested.


The Ministry explained that the calculation is based on average foregone daily catch of each species of fish, times 70 fishermen who would have been affected by the pollution incident, for at least 10 days.


Arrangements are being made for the funds to be disbursed via the ministry of fisheries.


The payment breakdown also includes NEPA/NRCA’s oversight of remediation works by UC Rusal/Windalco, natural resources valuation, and an ecological assessment.


However, in these instances, the allocations matched the amount requested, totalling just under $40 million.


Another allocation is just under $43 million for the National Water Commission for compensation for revenue and operational losses; this is less than the $109 million that the company sought.


On the flip side, one entity will be getting more than it asked for; the National Irrigation Commission requested a little over $17 million and was awarded $17,411,621.




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