Trash trou­bles pile up in Mo­gok

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYAW KO KO kyawkoko@mm­times.com

THE land­fill in Mo­gok town­ship, Man­dalay Re­gion, is close to over­flow­ing as the mu­nic­i­pal­ity strug­gles to come to an agree­ment with the re­gional gov­ern­ment over an al­ter­na­tive waste dis­posal site.

At the cur­rent rub­bish dump, which is lo­cated close to a num­ber of res­i­dences, trash is be­ing burned as the 3-acre site is near­ing its ca­pac­ity. Ac­cord­ing to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s chair, U Win Tint, the trash fires pose a danger to pub­lic health and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“There is no more space at the cur­rent site for more rub­bish. The site must be moved as it is too close to peo­ple but we have had dif­fi­cul­ties in se­cur­ing another lo­ca­tion,” U Win Tint said.

“We have submitted a pro­posal to the re­gional gov­ern­ment to move the dump af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents, but the gov­ern­ment has ob­jected,” he said.

Un­der the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s pro­posal, which has been submitted and re­jected twice since Au­gust, the waste dis­posal site would be moved some 7 miles away to a 200-acre plot of land be­tween Mo­gok and Momeik/Mong Mit, Shan State.

The re­gion min­is­ter for en­vi­ron­ment said the pro­posal was re­jected once be­cause of miss­ing in­for­ma­tion, and a sec­ond time be­cause the pro­posed re­lo­ca­tion area would over­lap with pro­tected for­est land.

“It is not true that the re­gion gov­ern­ment is ob­ject­ing to the pro­posal,” said U Myo Thit, re­gional min­is­ter for re­sources and the en­vi­ron­ment. “[The first sub­mis­sion] did not in­clude a rec­om­men­da­tion from re­spec­tive hlut­taw rep­re­sen­ta­tives. In the sec­ond sub­mis­sion, the rec­om­men­da­tion was in­cluded but the pro­posed area falls within a for­est area. More­over, the pro­posal was not only con­cerned with the rub­bish dump, but also in­cluded other mat­ters, so it be­came a sit­u­a­tion that needed the Union gov­ern­ment’s in­put. Our re­gional of­fi­cials rec­om­mended the pro­posal.”

Res­i­dents in Mo­gok also sup­port the re­lo­ca­tion ini­tia­tive.

“It would be bet­ter if the dump was moved to where the mu­nic­i­pal­ity sug­gests. This site is far from the city whereas the cur­rent dump is very close. We get wor­ried for our health due to the fumes emit­ted by burn­ing waste ma­te­ri­als,” said Mo­gok res­i­dent U Aung Kyaw Moe.

“The re­gional gov­ern­ment should ap­prove the pro­posal,” he added.

The es­ti­mated 200,000 res­i­dents of Mo­gok are cur­rently served by 16 work­ers and five trucks who col­lect an es­ti­mated 20 tonnes of trash each day.

Ac­cord­ing to the town­ship ad­min­is­tra­tion, their pro­posal to move the Mo­gok dump is an op­por­tu­nity to also im­prove the en­tire sys­tem.

“The town­ship’s garbage col­lec­tion sys­tem is very weak. If our pro­posal is ap­proved, we will ed­u­cate the pub­lic on proper waste dis­posal and to sep­a­rate wet and dry garbage. If we get our re­lo­ca­tion site, then we will en­gage com­pa­nies to pro­duce elec­tric­ity from the waste. We have also re­quested five more garbage trucks which the [re­gional] min­is­ter said he would pro­vide,” said U Win Tint.

He added that the town­ship ad­min­is­tra­tion will per­se­vere with their pro­posal un­til the dump is re­lo­cated. – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

and Emoon

Photo: Kyaw Ko Ko

Of­fi­cials in Mo­gok are try­ing to re­lo­cate the land­fill be­fore it spills be­yond the al­lot­ted area.

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