A committee is about to set up to form a department for the conservation of the Balu Chaung River in Loikaw, and a proposal will be tabled at the Kayah State Hluttaw meeting on December 23th.
Although there are various departments relying on Balu Chaung water, there is no conservation center in the state. Thus, the persons in charge of government departments, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the Ethnic Rights, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee discussed it together at the hall of Kayah State Hluttaw Committee on December 14th.
U Tay Zar Win Tun, a member of the Ethnic Rights, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “We have a responsibility to maintain this in the long run.
That’s why we did the meeting. What I found was that there are departments that are using the Balu Chaung River. They use this water resource for their livelihood, and irrigation. In the case of electricity, electricity is also generated from this water source. The municipality also takes this water and distributes it into households. They all relied on this river. There is no department in our state to maintain it. In fact, there is supposed to be the Ministry of Water Resources and Lake Conservation, but we found only in Nay Pyi Taw. It would be better to maintain this river with a specific ministry in our state. I found it as main issue.”
Although there is a Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System, there is no department in the state. Thus, it is said the government departments, civil society organizations (CSOs), charity groups, and entrepreneurs altogether will organize a committee and implement this idea as soon as possible.
“In today’s discussion, we donated back 2% of CSR money, the profit, from Balu Chaung No. 3. I heard like 1% is returned to the Union and the other 1% is being developed by the state government, Balu Chaung No. 3, and Company. From this, one percent will also be added to this committee and this will be done to implement the conservation of Balu Chaung,” said U Tay Zar Win.
It was discussed in the meeting that officials of the Lopita Hydropower Plant are collecting water for electricity distribution and to save enough water for upcoming summer in accordance with the Union guidelines.
“There is no machinery, there are no skilled fishermen, there are no boats. In that case, it is not only concerned with us but also concerned with the community people in terms of the cleanness of Balu Chaung River. Because Loikaw is not the only town creates Balu Chaung rubbish, but also the rubbishes along the villages also lastly reach into Lopita Plant. So, everyone has a responsibility. But we will cooperate together,” said U Than Tun, Deputy Director of the Loikaw Township Development Committee.
On December 10th, parliamentary committee officials inspected the water situation in Balu Chaung. According to the field study, there is a lot of garbage in the city area and there is no water flow due to that garbage.
The charity groups in the state also hold weekly cleanness along Balu Chaung River on every Saturday and Sunday around Loikaw in order to keep it clean and tidy.