NGO raises alarm over wastewater disposal in Mandalay River

NGO raises alarm over wastewater disposal in Mandalay River Dokhtawaddy River Photo: Aung Thant Khaing/The Myanmar Times

04 November 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times

An environment group expressed alarm over the unabated wastewater disposal of manufacturing facilities in Dokhtawaddy River in Mandalay Region, warning of social and environmental consequences if left unchecked.

U Maung Maung Oo, from the non-government group Natural Green Alliance, said the Mandalay City Development Committee has not yet established regulations regarding the dumping of wastewater in the river in Amarapura township. Worse, authorities seemed no strategy to stop these harmful action.

He noted that wastewater from the Mandalay Industrial Zone drains into the Dokhtawaddy River, and so are the bilge from a nearby slaughterhouse.

Moreover, people are cleaning alcohol bottles and containers in the river, which could harm the marine ecosystem in the waterway.

U Maung Maung Oo warned these actions damage water resources and will eventually deprive communities depending on the river for their livelihood. lives living along the river, he said.

"It is not hard to resolve this problem, especially since most of those disposing wastewater on the river are private companies," he said. "We need regulations. Although we know the slaughterhouse has no license, shutting down the business is not a solution."

He warned that as long as the MCDC does not come up with the proper guidelines on wastewater disposal from the industrial zone, the problem will fester.

"We can't throw everything down the river. There is life in the river and along the river," U Maung Maung Oo said. "A metal refinery disposing of wastewater into the river stopped doing so after we voice our objection to its action."

Environmental experts pointed out Mandalay is using 90 percent of its underground water resources and in the future, the city needs to reduce its dependency on ground water.

The city has Ayeyarwady and Dokhtawaddy rivers where it can get water resources and a river water pumping project is being implemented at Pyigyitagun township

The Mandalay government announced earlier that it has allocated K280 million (USD 213,000) to boost the region's water supply to prevent shortage of potable water during the summer season.

Over 140 water supply operations such as digging and construction of pumping wells, small water wells and lakes rehabilitation and reconstruction, will be carried out in all the region's 22 townships.

It will also included upgrading of water pipes and construction of rainwater harvesting lakes.

Mandalay is located in the country's so-called dry zone, which also includes the neighbouring Magwe, Ayeyarwady and Sagaing Regions. These areas experiences drought during the summer months. - Translated

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