By Tun Lin Aung and Aung Hein Min
Kachin, Myanmar, November 1, 2016
Kachin State MP Kyaw Kyaw Win said on Sunday that the state parliament would enact regional laws to control the mining industry. He spoke at a meeting organised by the Myanmar Green Network in Myitkyina Township.
The MP for Mohnyin Constituency-2 said: “Companies mine by removing topsoil, and this affects the environment negatively. They should mine in a way that does not damage the environment. The Uru River has been badly damaged by the gold rush because people use mercury and cyanide when they pan for gold. I’m shocked that these companies got licences in first place.”
Hpakant Township has 22,558 acres of active mining sites and more than 800 companies operating there.
MP Kyaw Kyaw Win also said he believes State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will prevent the Myitsone dam project from beginning again.
The natural environment of the resource-rich Kachin State is threatened by hydropower dam projects and decades of mining, according to several reports.
Residents of Kachin State have said they are experiencing a warmer climate and floods because the forests have been felled to make way for mining operations. Many villages have had to relocate.
A total of 76 residents of Ingyanyan Township sent an open letter along with their signatures to President Htin Kyaw, asking for a stop to dam projects on the Ayeyawady River on October 27.