23 June 18 - Lab in-charge Dr. Aye Aye Win from Green Land Organization said that there was high content of iron in Hlaing River near Hlinetharyar and Shwepyithar industrial zones because of waste water released from these zones.
"We found a high content of iron in the river water. And it is very muddy and contains a high level of siltation. Iron is needed for the body but a high level content in water is not good for us," Dr. Aye Aye Win said.
Green Land Organization has observed and tested waste water released into Hlaing River from industrial zones since 2016 by conducting regular monthly testing.
Dr. Aye Aye Win who tested the quality of water in Hlaing River said, "A high content of anything is not good for us. This water can cause oral diseases in our bodies and ischemia diseases also. The river water of Hlaing River was found to be absolutely unfit for drinking."
Drinking river water with high content of iron can cause liver diseases, heart diseases, skin diseases and it can cause stains on clothes, utensils and vegetables.
According to statistics received from Environment, Water and Sanitation Department of Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), there are about 300 factories in Yangon Region and most of them release untreated waste water into rivers and creeks.
YCDC Environment, Water and Sanitation Department Deputy Chief Dr. Aung Myint Maw said that only about 10% of these factories released waste water into rivers and creeks systematically after treating them but the remaining 90% of these factories released untreated waste water.
Responding to a question from Mizzima, Dr. Aung Myint Maw said: "They cannot afford to install water treatment plants as they are expensive. And it cannot provide a financial return from such an investment. So the factories don't want to install water treatment plants at their factories."
Parliament passed the City Development Committee Law but the government has not yet passed and enacted the rule of this law so that City Development Committees can carry out inspection of these factories only and they can impose a fine only as the highest punishment to these errant factories for releasing untreated waste water into rivers and other water bodies.
The maximum fine applicable in these cases is 300,000 kyats and in most of the cases the amount of fine for such a violation is a mere 50-100,000 kyats.
There are over 4,000 factories in 29 industrial zones in the Yangon Region and 3,474 factories are under the supervision and management of YCDC and most of these factories are built in Shwepyithar and Hlinetharyar Townships near Hline and Pan Hline Rivers.