Despite the fact that the Myanmar-China pipeline has started to import oil, local residents have yet to receive the compensation due to them for damage to their crops arising from digging works on the pipeline.
Crops had been pressed down by soil and landslides have occurred on cultivated fields near the Myanmar-China oil pipeline in the Ngape township of the Magwe Region due to extension of the oil pipeline. Aggrieved farmers said that they had not received compensation even though they have been waiting for more than five years.
“More than 10 letters have been sent and letters have also reached Nay Pyi Taw. We sent letters twice to the current government. We have also been called to meet officials once. But, nothing has come out of it,” said farmer Daw Hla Yi from Gote Kyi village in Ngape township.
Another farmer, U Yan Naung Tun said although the Magwe Region land and crops compensation group, township land records department and ward and village land committee made a field trip in February 2012 they did not visit the areas where the crop was damaged.
“Two years after this field trip, we were given money as assistance for our damages. But we don’t want assistance money, we want full compensation. They have to compensate us at these rates – K20,000 for a coffee plant and K120,000 for a lime plant or lemon plant and so on. But they just paid us K3.99 million per acre. Now, some places cannot be cultivated anymore,” said Daw War War from Gote Kyi village.
Although some financial assistance had been given on June 10, 2016 for damages suffered, 7 farmers refused to accept this assistance as they claim it was 10 times less than the amount of damages suffered.
One of the farmers, Daw Hla Yi, said some of the farmers took the money as they had no choice because they were flat broke.
The Myanmar-China oil pipeline cuts through the following plantations; the Gote Kyi, Bone Baw, Soon Tet, Lin Tet and Pa Bae villages in Ngape township.
U Nay Myo Kyaw, a minister in the Mandalay regional government, told The Myanmar Times that the regional government should push for compensation and read the farmers reports.
“Whether the amount of compensation will cover the loss or not will depend on how they negotiate. If the farmers are not satisfied with the amount then we [the government] have a duty to urge the compensation team. Myanmar and Chinese governments signed an MoU for compensation. The compensation team has a responsibility,” he said.
Source – mmtimes