(Authorities and regional MPs inspected the factory on 1 August and found it was running on coal, officials instructed factory personnel to use an alternative energy source.)

Khaing Min (Kyaukphyu) | DMG
15 November, Kyaukphyu
A factory grinding fish to make fish crackers opened in Kin Pin Lae Nar village, Kyaukphyu Township in October and locals suspect the factory is operating by coal because unpleasant smells are emitted from the factory when it’s operating, according to villagers.

Locals said that people near the factory face health problems such as respiration, indigestion and diarrhea because of the foul stench that’s produced from the factory.

“We are not happy we have to put up with the disgusting smell. I think, for all locals concerned, it would be best to shut down the factory. We will submit a formal complaint to departmental officials if the factory remains operational because it will put local people’s health in jeopardy,” said U Ba Aye, a villager of Kin Pin Lae Nar.

Local residents from Lay Taung town, on the other side of the creek, have also been exposed to the stink from the factory. We experience a vile and rotten aroma drifting into our village from the factory, said U Ko Lay from Thapyay Seik ward, Lay Taung town.

About 20 local residents are working in the factory and some female workers suffered from diarrhea, he said.

Ko Soe Shwe, official of the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA) in Arakan State, said that local people have suffered from the repugnant by-product of the factory days after the factory was operational due to the lack of responsibility and accountability of relevant authorities.

He added that locals would face unexpected losses if the factory continues running for the long run.

“We did not see township or district level departmental officers in Kyaukphyu and Arakan State government take action against the factory. The situation looks like they are oblivious to what is really happening or they just don’t care,” Ko Soe Shwe said.

Waste from the factory is dumped into the Kin Chaung creek and that affects the fishermen who depend on the creek for their livelihood, it could also put the whole eco-system in the region at great risk for the long term, local residents said.

The DMG attempted to get a comment from the officials of the factory about the accusations of the villagers, but was unsuccessful.

The factory was reportedly owned by Daw Yu Yu Nwe, and Chinese citizens are working there.

The factory did not register at the Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection in Kyaukphyu district and the regional government did not grant permission, Arakan State Government Cabinet Member, minister U Kyaw Lwin explained in the state parliament on 23 September.

The minister said that the department and the government would not allow the factory to run if it’s detrimental to people’s health and environment.
Authorities and regional MPs inspected the factory on 1 August and found it was running on coal, officials instructed factory personnel to use an alternative energy source.

Currently, it is necessary to check if the factory is running according to the instructions of the authorities and find out why noxious smells continue to be released from the factory.

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