Environmental researchers have found village water sources close to a tin mining operation in Southern Burma have dangerous levels of lead and arsenic.
Independent community-based researchers from Kamoethway, east of Dawei Town, working with an environmentalist expert from the Netherlands carried out water testing in villages close to a tin mining operation and found that the villagers water sources are dangerously contaminated by lead and arsenic.
Naw Moo Kho Paw spoke to Karen News about the testing.
“We collected water from the stream near the mining site of Heinda and Ba Wa Pin and the water is polluted by the mining at seven sites. We collected the water and sent samples to a laboratory in Bangkok and to the Netherlands. We were helped by an independent environmental researcher from the Netherlands.”
Naw Moo Kho Paw said that the test results from the Netherland’s laboratory showed high levels of contamination of the village water sources.
“The Netherland’s result from the test from the stream close to the Heinda mine indicated that the lead is 10 to 190 times more than World Health Organization (WHO) [safe] limit and the arsenic is more than eight times above the WHO limit. The World Health Organisation state that safe levels of lead should be no more than 0.01mg.”
The Heinda Tin Mine is operated by the Myanmar Pongpipat Company and is a joint venture with the Burma government’s Ministry of Mines. The mine is 45 kilometer east of Tavoy. Villagers said that the Heinda Mine concession area covers 2087.06 acres and has impacted on more than 10 villages in the immediate mining area and those living downstream of it mining for a decade.