Cement Cargo Ships Destroy Riverbanks, Mon State Locals Say

Friday, January 31, 2020

Locals are attributing land degradation along the banks of the Attaran River in Mon State’s Kyaikmayaw Township to traffic from cargo ships with in the cement factories.

They have demanded that the state parliament look into the problem, which is apparent in the villages of Mae Kayoe, Kawt Dun, Kawt Panau and Kwam Ngan. An ancient pagoda, religious structures and homes have been damaged, locals said in a letter to parliament sent on January 27.

“We have seen cracks in the earth and a decline on the slopes of the riverbanks since last November. It is declining everyday. We need to protect it while there is still time,” Nai Tun Kyi, who lives in Mae Kayoe village, told NMG about why locals sent the letter this week.

They have linked the damage to cargo ships carrying construction materials and tools to cement factories in Pyar Tawng area of Kyaikmayaw Township. The megaships also transport cement from the factories to other areas along the Attaran River.

The deputy speaker of the Mon State parliament said that MPs would carry out a detailed survey as to why the problems with the land were occurring, and make recommendations to the government based on their findings.

“We know that if mega cargo ships make huge waves in the river, they could cause the earth to crack and for landslides to occur on the riverbank. These cargo ships have damaged fishing boats and fishing nets. I think the respective authorities need systematic control over it,” Dr. Aung Naing Oo, deputy speaker of the Mon State parliament, told NMG.

With permission from Burma’s investment commission, Mawlamyine Cement Ltd., June Cement Industry Ltd. and Myanmar-Korea Cement Group Co. Ltd are operating their cement factories in Kyaikmayaw Township.

Currently, Mawlamyine Cement Ltd. produces 5,000 tons of cement per day. June Cement Industry Ltd. is preparing to operate a cement factory to produce the same amount.