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Kachin villagers protest against gold mining in Ayeyawady River

Residents of a Kachin village say their farmland has been ruined due to rampant gold mining on the Ayeyawady River in Myitkyina Township, Kachin State.

Gold miners’ boats and rafts on Ayeyarwady River in Myitkyina Township. Credit: Photo-EMG

By EMG Writer

Kachin, Myanmar, July 12, 2017

Eleven Myanmar

Residents of a Kachin village say their farmland has been ruined due to rampant gold mining on the Ayeyawady River in Myitkyina Township, Kachin State.

More than 50 gold mining boats and rafts are working in several villages of the township, said villagers from Tarlawgyi village.

The gold mining causes the river’s bank to erode easily when the water level rises, they said.

“Nearly 100 acres of farmland have been lost. They [gold miners] are not local people. We reported to the government about it last month. No action has been taken yet,” said a villager from Tarlawgyi.

The villagers have reported that the miners use Chinese-made rafts for gold mining in the river and pay no taxes.

The previous government issued an order in 2013 to prohibit gold mining in the Ayeyawady River and within 300 yards of it, but illegal gold mining business remain active.

Illegal gold mining on rivers and creeks in Kachin State is known to destroy farmland, cause illness, force the relocation of villages, and cause environmental damage.

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