Wundwins Weavers in the limelight about dyestuff contamination
Wundwin, the center of Myanmar's heritage weavers, is to be purified. The Mandalay Environmental Conservation Department last weekend suggested three ways to purify textile-dyed bodies of aquatic environment. Remediation efforts are also to be intensified through tougher sanctions against businesses that contaminate the groundwater.
These various suggestions were presented at a session on 2 May on providing technical support to clean up the contamination that is threatening the farmland around the Wundwin Township, some 130 km from Mandalay. Wundwin, the manufacturing center for tradional clothing in Myanmar, has about 600 clothing mills, each with 10 or 12 weaving looms.
Approximately 70 per cent of the country's output is located in the Township. "The base color of the cloth is colored so we have to color it to the color of your choosing. Dying follows a time-honoured recipe in which the cloth is boiled, beaten by hand and soaked in cool running mud.
It' is a waste of galons of water," said Wundwin business man U Win Maung. Suggested solution included treatment of the contaminated waters with potassium before it is passed through a number of tanks or physical transport of the waters to a treatment plant for purification. First two are for relatively small amounts of bottled mineral and the third is said to be very costly.
Aye, General Manager of the Environment Protection Division, said, and added that the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry had asked for support. Mandalay's Environment Protection Division Manager, U Kyaw Aung Moe, said clean-up work began in March, when Wundwin Municipality monitored its bodies of Wundwin for long-term contamination and a project to investigate the contamination of groundwater, land degradation and the threats to human and animal welfare and to develop a workaround.
The Wundwin Lloyd Industrial Association's vice-chairman U Kyi Aung, who has 119 members, said all garages used dyestuffs "carelessly" and drained the contaminated waters into the area. Thet Thet Zin, Vice Secretary of State for the Protection of the Enviroment and Forest Management, said at the May 2 session that 74 of the Act provides for sanctions for businesses that have harmed the state.