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October 24, 2018

Our strength exhibited in battling Htein Bin fire: State Counsellor

The following is an unofficial translation for a public announcement of gratitude from the Office of the State Counsellor released on 13 May.

Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Office of the State Counsellor
(13 May 2018)
Words of gratitude to the Public

The announcement reads that the Union Government is working with unflagging zeal for rule of law, the people’s socio-economic development, national reconciliation and peace, and constitutional amendment for laying the foundation for a democratic federal union. For several reasons, Myanmar has fallen behind other countries in many aspects and is in a state where all our efforts must be exerted to get back on the right track. All our citizens and ethnic peoples of Myanmar are currently living in a historical moment where we are all working our hardest to usher in a new era.
Thus, it is necessary more than ever to use the collective strength of the people of the country to go forward together in developing the nation. Mutual understanding and helping one another is a strong characteristic of the Myanmar people and if we can use it effectively in developing our nation then without a doubt we will reach our goals in a short amount of time. This invaluable trait long hidden within our society was recently brought into action in full glory during the fire at the Htein Bin garbage dump.
The Htein Bin landfill in Hlinethaya Township in Northern Yangon District caught fire due to extremely high temperatures on 21 April. Due to the hot summer weather, large area of the landfill, and the fact that trapped pockets of gases below the surface were caught in the combustion, it required a massive force of people and machinery to contain the situation. The fire was successfully extinguished on 2 May after repeated operations.
The official record of all personnel involved in combating the fire, providing security and healthcare services included 1,747 firefighters (including reserves), 722 YCDC staff, 41 staff from the Department of Irrigation and Water Utilization Management, 328 police officers, 24 staff from the Department of General Administration,
156 staff from the Regional Public Health Department, 49 Myanmar Red Cross members, and 220 military personnel from the Yangon Region Military Command (including medical corps), bringing the total to 3,287 personnel.
During the first few days, the fire was extinguished using water but the resulting smoke from within spread to nearby townships and caused health problems even to South Okkalapa and Dagon Myothit (North).
It was during this time that KBZ Brighter Future Foundation and partner companies donated Ks 340 million to purchase 5,000 gallons of bio foam from Thailand to put out the fire and mask the smoke. At the same time, 43 philanthropic organizations provided food and other necessities from numerous donors. For this reason the words of gratitude and credit for the month of May should go to the firefighters, security and military officers, departmental staff, philanthropic organizations, and all the people who helped in whatever way they can in ending the fire in Htein Bin landfill.
The events at the Htein Bin landfill showed us that unity in collective strength enables us to overcome any obstacles and challenges and I would like to humbly request everyone to remember that lesson well as we progress forward with collective strength.

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