Waingmaw Villagers Oppose Sand Deposits in Local Graveyard

Sand deposit in graveyard of Nawng Chiang village in Waingmaw township

‘Sand deposits mean they are going to do something,’ a local said, referring to fears that the area is being scouted for a possible gold or stone refinery.

Locals are speaking out against a graveyard being used for dumping sand in Nawng Chaing village, in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township.

The sands, brought it from Katatkyun, are being deposited on four of the six acres that make up the graveyard, and are unsure what it will be used for.

“Our villagers don't know who deposits this and in the graveyard. We don't know which company to do it, a local told KNG.

The Nawng Chaing village headman, Yajaw Howng Hkawng, said that villagers already had given their consent to the initiative.

“When the sand selling company came to us about producing sand, I discussed with the 10-household representatives and the 100-household representative. Everybody agreed to it. That’s why we permitted them to do it,” he explained.

Locals say that sand deposits can be indicative of another project.

“Sand deposits mean they are going to do something. They may run a refinery to search for gold, or to separate sand and stone,” one resident said. “If they do, there will be mud dumped there, and it will block the stream. As a consequence, paddy fields around the village will be flooded. Another problem is that it will be difficult to hold funeral services and bury bodies there. There are many possible problems.”

Villagers have now called for a meeting with the company in question, Yajaw Howng Hkawng said.

“We already told the company about the rules and regulations of the village,” he explained, and added when the representatives were free, the meeting would take place.