Rule of law is first priority in Phakant for rehabilitation of migrant miners
- Jade from Phakant is well-known across the world. Tax from jade has greatly benefited our country. But, the area where jade is mined faces deadly landslides every year, which kill dozens of miners. Over 50 jade miners were buried in a mudslide recently. The disasters have prompted the authorities to enforce safety rules for miners.
The law does not allow anyone to settle in mining areas without permission. People, including internal migrant workers, must avoid hunting jade stones at the risk of their lives.
Amid concerns about accidents in the rainy season, the government has declared a three-month moratorium on jade mining in Phakant, Kachin State from July to August.
Besides, the government is planning to allow migrant miners to work in small-scale mining blocks for their safety, and they, in turn, must follow the safety rules and precautions.
Experts have also suggested raising awareness about the risk factors in mining areas with regard to landslides. Such a programme would be aimed at disseminating knowledge among mine workers and the local authorities.
For their safety, migrant miners must avoid squatting in at-risk areas and relocate to safer areas. At the same time, mining companies must follow the suggestions for safe dumping from a technical point of view, according to one expert.
Meanwhile, we must also consider the impact of environmental degradation in Phakant area. Since companies use lots of heavy machinery in their jade mining operations, the environment in Phakant has been deteriorating.
Phakant gets an average rainfall of over 60 inches and has been experiencing high temperatures due to deforestation. A plan for re-afforestation in the area must be adopted.
Another problem besieging Hpakant is drug addiction among miners. All are obliged to ensure their rehabilitation.
The rule of law is most important in Phakant. The participation of migrant miners, local people, and businessmen is critical to maintaining peace and rule of law in the area.
For rehabilitating migrant workers and conserving Phakant’s environment, we must relocate migrant workers, enforce rules for mining companies, grow plants in expired mining blocks, ensure smooth flow of the Uru River to prevent floods in the rainy season, and encourage production of finished jade products.