TAIPEI - Farmers from Kaohsiung City's Ciaotou and Tzukuan Districts yesterday demanded that the government hand out a severe punishment to Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) for polluting the Hou-chin River.
According to the farmers, the Hou-chin River is the main source of irrigation water for farms in two adjacent districts. However, ASE's K7 facility, located in the Nanzih Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工區), had been disposing of wastewater into the river and affected around 500 hectares of farmland.
Farmers said that even though the rice fields lie fallow now, some vegetables like cabbage and broccoli have not met their harvest season yet.
The Agricultural Bureau of Kaohsiung City has forbidden farmers from harvesting all the fields in those districts until the test results on the soil samples are released.
A farmer surnamed Huang said that his agricultural produce is usually sold in markets nationwide, and if there are any issues regarding the produce, it will affect the public's health greatly.
Lee Chiing-fu, the head of the Farm Irrigation Association of Kaohsiung, said that ASE is an immoral company.
"Before the wastewater scandal, farmers already complained about the dirty and smelly water from the river," said Lee.
"Farmers are not satisfied with the NT$600,000 that ASE has been fined so far," said Lee. "We hope the government can actually hand out serious punishments to ASE so the company will stop polluting the environment."