22 Oct 2020 - Source: BNI - A company official explained and responded to the concerns of villagers on the contaminants from the French pig farm near Daw Klo Village in Deemawso Township that it had entered the paddy fields near the creek instead of the lake used by the locals.

Dr. Pyae Phyo Maung, person in-charge of French pig farm at De Heus Myanmar Co.Ltd, Loikaw, said "Since it is the rainy season, the moisture and grass below were about one person, so we did not know it was flooded. Unbeknownst to us, when the amount of water increased, it flowed from the bottom of the fence through this filthy water into the outer field. From that field, we have a paved road.

There are two canals next to both side of paved road. The water flows through those canals which are designed to improve the inflow and outflow, and to improve the flow of water. From there it reaches into the creek near the village. We went down to the creek and checked it ourselves. It hasn't reached to the creek yet. Our pig manure seeped into the paddy field by the creek. That's what happened."
The pig farm used to have 260 sows and now has a total of more than 2,000 offspring from sows.

It is estimated that more than 2,000 pigs produce around 10 bags of 25 kg of pig manure per day.

Dr Pyae Phyo Maung said that some farmers in a nearby village had told to them that they want the manure to be reused in agriculture, so their collected pig manures with bags melted and leaked out from the bottom of the pig farm when it rained.

Dr. Pyae Phyo Maung said that a hole was dug in the yard and a plastic bag was placed under the hole to prevent the dirt from seeping out again.

"We rented a bulldozer. We rented a bulldozer and dug a hole inside our yard to prevent the pig manure from leaking out. After digging a trench, we drew the pig manure back into the pond, in order to prevent seepage. We do not make this pond as it is. We put plastic in this pond. "It means we put plastic back on the sewage to prevent it from seeping into the ground and then store it again," Dr. Pyae Phyo Maung said.

Prior to the start of this large-scale pig-raising project, although pig farm officials had been working to prevent the smell of pig manure and to remove pig farm waste and blemishes, there is an unsafe environment for the locals due to the increasing odor and pollution; analyzed Ma Naw Khu Doe, a coordinator of the Metta Foundation's Loikaw branch, which works to create a food-safe environment.

"I do not think this is safe. Because if it rains, it will overflow in case it is done inproperly. It will surely overflow. Even now, the filth has been overflowing due to recent heavy rains. "

Ko Francisco, a villager in Daw Pawklae, said he was worried about the health of the villagers in the years to come, as the effluent had been released within a year or two year after built the construction.

"This is the project arranged within authorities, according to their permission, and it was implemented by the approval of the authorities. However, the reality is that this is just beginning and this problem already happens in this one or two years. In case this long-term project lasts for 15-20 years, how much or what extent it would impact to our health issue," said Francisco.

Even in the current few years, these side effects occurred. So in that case, many unforeseen impacts on the community as well as on food security could lead to the long-term effects of these side effects on nearby villages in the future; said Naw Khu Doe, coordinator of the Metta Development Foundation's Loikaw branch.

"The consequences are that it could impact to our social environment, local food and food security including the environmental impacts. This means that the effluent from the plant will end up in the water source used by the locals. After that, the pigs from the factory will take their place instead of the local pigs. Livestock pigs will take their place. Then there are unseen and unpredictable infections," she said.

Company officials said the pond had been temporarily cleaned to remove the waste from pig farm and that the waste would be recycled with a vacuum cleaner.

"It is just the way that we were only temporarily blocking the seeping of water. We will no longer store further pig manure and water into this pond. We will only keep all the dirt out of this yard to the cleaning machine. Depending on how many pigs there are on the farm, the first machine we set up will have the cleaning machine running. We have pig farm, and the number of pigs is gradually increasing to sell piglets. As a result, pig manure will increase. With the prior preparation to run with these machines depending on the increased pig numbers, we have a lot of plans to increase our capacity to operate it well," Dr. Pyae Phyo Maung said.

After Kayah State Investment Forum, on May 26, 2018, the 50-year-old French pig breeding project, which was approved by the state investment committee, has been renewed twice every 10 years and is a 70-year project.

There are currently a lot of existing laws, rules and regulations in Myanmar. Currently, there are investment laws and environmental laws for livestock farm.

There are processes and instructions for making an investment in the state. If it is done effectively and correctly, it will be less harmful and more sustainable; Ma Naw Khu Doe said.

My suggestion is to do more environmental impact assessment. We need to figure out how to take action on the information we get from it," she continued.

The French pig farm project, built by De Heus Myanmar Co. Ltd on 10.77 acres of land near the village of Daw Kloe Khu, is one of the largest pig project in Southeast Asia with an investment of US $ 3.1819 billion. It said pigs bred from the farm will be exported nationwide.