Soe Htike Aung
There are giant ground cracks at tin-tungsten mining area in both southern and northern parts of Ywar Ma Gyi at You-Kaw Kho (Hill-13), Maw Chee Region, Pharsaung Township in Kayah State.
These giant crack lines occurred after incidence of landslides caused around August 2019.
Kayah State Mineral Production Company announced with warning signs everywhere that “Please travel with cautiousness for your safety as this area is exposed ground cracks”
Although it is warned with these signs, the resident workers and outsiders from other states/ divisions are still working the lead mining there for their living.
Daw Magret Sein, the Chairperson of Pa Bwar Kalu (Karen) Social Development Women Group explained, “There are about 5 ground-cracked lines at southern part of the village. The worst one is cracked about 8 feet wide, and the length is about 20 feet. The rest cracks lines are long about 30 to 40 feet. In northern part of village, it is about 50 feet cracked below the house, and it is deep about 4 feet to 15 feet.”
The geologists have diagnosed there and marked the north and south of Youkaw Kho (Hill-13) as red zone, but they have not marked Ywar Ma Gyi (Hill-13) as red zone yet.
The residents and workers are quite worried on the warning statement.
Daw Lwan Po who lives above Southern Youkaw Kho told her concerns related to current land cracks, “There was landslide on that mount, and now we could not sleep and eat well due to another warning of landslide to this mount. We are like we have to go and check whenever we hear the sound “Glote-Glote” (the noise from mount), and the slope near here is worse. While we have to struggle for our living, we also have to bring our children all times with us. If we unfortunately die, whole family will be gone. It is like if we leave our children at home and something happens, we pretty worry it would not be fine leaving them alone.”
The residents said the business groups keep working on the lead mining, operating at the lower part of village, although they requested them to block the lead mining holes as the ground are getting cracked.
“I told them it is not natural disaster. It is their intentionally making self-profit from mining and looking at the situation without caring anything, so this ward become like this.” said U Shwe Thein Min, the retired army who have been living in (Hill-13) for 40 years.
It said the residents, lead miners, and companies have been doing lead mining in summer and winter for many years, and some migrate to safe places when it turns to raining season.
Some residents give their opinions and appraisal to the cause of landslide and cracks that it might be the increased numbers of lead mining holes.
“The reason of landslide is because there are 5 lead-mining holes nearby here. I think these lead-mining holes are the main cause. In my opinion, however, they have worked here for 5-6 months. In the past, it might not be problem, but their mining holes are closed to one another. And I think the landslide hit as they do mine explosion on that closed mining holes.” said Daw Thandar Moe, the local woman from Youkaw Kho Village.
The residents say the land cracks occur at the bottom of their houses since the business owners do not block the mining holes although they said they will block the mining holes at lower village.
“They said they will block it. When I, however, asked them to do it, there were also Administrator of Pharsaung Township, and persons in charge from different departments. Related to it, what the company manager said to us is that it is the nature rain caused to natural disaster. I replied them it is not natural disaster and caused because of the holes in the ground. This is their intention caring only about their profits through mining. As consequence, our village becomes like this,” said U Shwe Thein Maung, the retired army who have been living in Hill-13 for 40 years.
It said they have reported about the landslide in Mawchi to Amyoetha Hluttaw, and Committee of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
Daw Shar Mu, the representative of Amyotha Hluttaw and committee member of No.5 constituency of Pruhso Township, told a few month ago to Kantarawaddy Times that the committee do not take field inspection anymore because the ministry manages all the required activities and help as the submitted report was reached to ministry first.
Macro Tin-tungsten mining project in Mawchi Region have extended for 5 more years as of last year, and the residents are pretty worried of the natural environment since the Kayah State Mineral Production Company (KMPC) got the extraction license on it.