As there is nowhere to properly dispose of garbage in Myeik, locals are calling on the regional government to urgently find a dumpsite.
Myeik is the capital of Taninthayi Region and its most economically developed city. Some officials said there is an urgent need for a disposal site and that it should be located a long distance from the city.
“As you can see, we use a burn and destroy method to eliminate garbage,” said Myat Ko Ko, the chairman of the Myeik municipal committee. “But, there are complaints made by people from surrounding the areas due to the foul smell. We have to throw waste in the old brick wells but in the long term, there may be a lot of difficulties,” he said.
Myeik municipal committee has requested the regional government to quickly identify a new location, but there has been no action taken, Myat Ko Ko said.
A four-acre site near Kalwin cemetery was filled with garbage, and then it was burned.
“My wife, who was not well, died after breathing [the polluted air] for a long period as our house is adjacent to the burning place,” said a food retailer. Human waste is also being dumped there in the late evening and the authorities did not stop the activities when people complained, said the retailer.
“There are people living close to a huge garbage pile earning their living by collecting things from there and reselling them.”
Only the government can designate a site to throw garbage, and it has failed to do so, noted the merchant.
A local from Kalwin village said the foul smell of burning garbage gives people health problems at night.
“We can’t open the windows. Villagers want the Kalwin garbage dump located somewhere further away.”
Because of complaints, garbage trucks are no longer allowed at the site and burning of waste is prohibited there, said Myat Ko Ko.
In Myeik, garbage trucks carry 65 to 70 loads of waste daily, requiring an estimated 50 acres to hold the garbage.