Residents of Saung Lawt village in Bawlakhe Township, Karenni State are worried because their waterholes have been drying up since a logging company started cutting down trees in the east of the village.
The village administrator, U Yan Naing Oo, said: “They [the logging company] didn’t inform us that they were coming here to cut down trees. They said they will cut down the big trees, but there aren’t any big trees here, just small ones, so they cut down the small ones. We worry that this will affect our main water sources.
The Nay Wun Myat Thit Company is felling 200 tons of teak to the east of Saung Lawt Village.
Villagers signed a petition calling for the tree felling to stop and handed it in to the Karenni State Hluttaw (parliament) on 12 March.
In response to the petition the Karenni State Hluttaw Speaker, U Hla Htwe, said that effective action would be taken against illegal logging that is not beneficial to the environment or local residents.
He said: “I request that [people] do not carry out illegal logging on top of legal logging. Illegal logging is not beneficial to local residents [near to the logging], the state and the country. It only benefits an organisation, a person or a company, so we need to take precautions against this.”
Karenni State plans to produce 5,000 tons of teak and 10,000 tons of hardwood during this teak felling season.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI