August 19, 2016

Local fishermen entreat Mon State Hluttaw to solve destruction of Attaran river by coal tankers

Fishermen prepare for catching fish in the Attaran River.
Fishermen preparing for catching fish in the Attaran River.

LOCAL fishermen have entreated the Mon State Hluttaw to resolve destruction to the Attaran river and the frequent sinking of motorised fishing vessels due to the plying along the river of large container ships and coal tankers servicing the concrete factory in Kyaikmaraw township.
“If this problem can’t be resolved this time then us fishermen will have to take some kind of action ourselves in relation to the MCL [factory].” U Aung Thin Oo, chair of the Kyaikmaraw township fishermen group.
The entreaty was sent on Thursday. It is known that between 2014-15 similar letters of request were sent four times to the Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) factory, the Department of Fisheries for Mawlamyine, the Kyaikmaraw general administrators office and the Mon State government, but none of these efforts were heeded to.
“Two hundred feet long ships come and go from the MCL [concrete] factory in Kyaikmaraw four or five times a day. When one of these ships sales along the river it creates waves taller than a man. Our fishing boats can’t withstand damage from these waves. They sink. And if they doesn’t sink then our engines do or all our fishing lines are broken off.
The fishermen don’t drown because they can swim. I want to say, please solve these problems for us.” said U Maung Maung Gyi, secretary of the Kyaikmaraw fishermen group.
It is known that the majority of fishermen have suffered because of the large ships which ply the waters, while the fishing boats and fishing equipment of roughly twelve fishermen have been sunk or destroyed, with total damages incurred worth approximately K5 million.
Fishermen have voiced their desire for negotiations with those of responsibility from the MCL concrete factory to discuss the reduction in speed of shipping vessels when entering and leaving the factory waters and for financial reimbursement to those which have suffered monetary losses because of the ships in question.
Construction began on the MCL concrete factory in Kyaikmaraw township back in February 2014, before being completed during February this year. It is known that the factory produces around 5,000 tonnes of concrete a day.


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