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Myanmar: Fishermen & farmers fear loss of livelihood due to Kyaukphyu Sea-Port project

Author: Min Thein Aung, Kyaw Kyaw Aung, & Richard Finney, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 24 August 2019

"Myanmar Fishermen, Farmers Fear Losses From Kyaukphyu Sea-Port Project", 23 August 2019

Villagers living near the site of a proposed deep-sea port in the town of Kyaukphyu in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state fear losses as the joint project with China gets under way, with fishermen already restricted from access to the sea....

With ship traffic increasing in the area of the proposed port, residents of 20 villages nearby may now fish only in a restricted area, and many have lost their livelihoods....

...Part of a planned Special Economic Zone (SEZ) covering over 4,200 acres, the deep-sea port in Kyaukphyu is an important part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” development strategy, giving Beijing access to the Bay of Bengal as an alternative route for oil imports.

...Farmers working in the area of industrial zones planned in the SEZ will also be affected by the work, with local people likely to lose over 2,000 acres of land that they have farmed for generations, according to a November 2017 report by the Kyaukphyu Rural Association.

Many fear they won’t be compensated for their loss of orchards and land.

...Remedies will be proposed only after environmental-impact and social-impact studies have been completed, said Kyaw Kyaw Soe, director of the MKSEZ consortium of 42 companies holding 15 percent of Myanmar’s 30 percent ownership of the project.

“Both [China’s] CITIC company and our own company have a plan for what we will do for the fishermen after the project goes ahead. But we will need to draw up the specifics of the plan after we have conducted our studies.”

“And so, we know what we are going to do for the fishermen,” he said....

Read the full post here