Major water-supplying lake in Sittwe contaminated by cattle
Local residents in the Arakan State capital Sittwe have complained about authorities’ lack of action to keep clean a major lake that supplies water to around 10 wards.
10 Jan 2023
10 January 2023, Sittwe
Local residents in the Arakan State capital Sittwe have complained about authorities’ lack of action to keep clean a major lake that supplies water to around 10 wards. Set Yoe Kya Lake, also known as Byinephyu Ywar Lake, is contaminated by cattle that often bathe in the lake or use it to cool down, according to locals.
“The lake becomes muddy when cattle go down there. The water is contaminated with mud, and it isn’t safe to use and drink that water. We have to buy bottled water, but not all the residents can afford to drink bottled water,” said Daw May Oo Sein of Set Yoe Kya Ward.
Locals in the affected Sittwe wards say water they receive from their taps is regularly contaminated with mud and sand.
“Those who can’t afford it have to use water from that lake to cook, bathe and drink. So, they want the water to be clean and safe,” said Ko Maung Nge, a resident of Singu Ward.
“It is best if the lake is fenced in. Because many residents use water from that lake,” said Ko Maung Nge.
DMG was unable to obtain comment from Daw Khin Khin Saw, deputy director of the Sittwe Township municipality.
Authorities have instructed cattle owners in the neighbourhood to make sure their cattle do not bathe in Set Yoe Kya Lake, according to the administrator of Set Yoe Kya Ward. Some cattle owners, however, are not taking proper care of their livestock, said a community elder from Set Yoe Kya Ward.
“Cattle will soak in the lake when the hot season comes. The lake is large, and there is no one guarding the lake,” he said.
Sittwe’s urban wards are mainly supplied by Set Yoe Kya and Kandawgyi lakes, and residents face water shortages annually during the hot season, when those lakes tend to dry up.