Salingyi – Locals concerned about smugglers finding gold dust in Maeza brook near Warphyu Taung village in Sagaing region which can damage their farmland and environment.
“They are not locals and they come from lower Myanmar. They run away from upper areas of Warphyu Taung village as the authorities tried to arrest them. They excavated sand, soil and mud and piled to the river. It will make river flood and the water will flood into our farm. They are digging with machines for over two years. We are planters and if we have no farmland, how can we survive. We don’t want to lose our farmland. We want the authorities to prohibit them,” said a local from Warphyu Taung village.
About ten groups of smugglers are finding gold near Seikthar village and another group is using about 30 powered schooners to find gold dust near Warphyu Taung village and Laung Su village. Maeza brook is now deposing sediment and cows and buffalos cannot drink water in the brook last three years ago. The river bank is also collapsed.
“The locals have to send a complaint letter to the authorities. In doing so, the authorities can handle the case effectively. May be the authorities haven’t known about it. The villagers need to report about it to the authorities as they cannot ignore it. If the locals don’t try to prevent it, the environment will be a risk in the future,” said Intaw MP Kyaw Naing Htay.
Although authorities organized an investigation team to prevent illegal gold diggings in Maeza brook, it is not still successful.