Industrial wastewater pollution from Myanmar's growing Food and Beverage industry - the country's largest industrial sector, accounting for almost 60% of all companies – poses a significant threat to the freshwater ecosystem in Myanmar. The European Union supports small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector to move towards green production with sustainable water and energy management processes.
“It is a positive shift that leading local businesses are eager to invest in wastewater treatment systems to protect and conserve Myanmar’s unique natural environment and valuable rivers which are now hugely threatened by pollution from growing industries,” said EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt at the opening of a waste water treatment plant on 15 November 2019 at a local dairy factory. "Through the ‘Tha Bar Wa’ project, we are able to bring technical experts to work with Myanmar’s leading manufacturing sector and support them in stepping up towards a cleaner production."
“Tha Bar Wa” is a four-year EU-funded programme under the SWITCH-Asia Programme that promotes cleaner production, conserving natural resources, contributing to people’s wellbeing, promoting innovation and helping industries to mitigate risks, cut costs and reduce water and energy use. In Myanmar the focus is on SMEs in the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry and is implemented through cooperation between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association (MFPEA) and Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC). The name “Tha Bar Wa” expresses a strong commitment to nature and the natural resources utilised by industries in order to operate. It signifies commitment to adopting operating processes whereby impact to the environment is minimised.
The Silvery Pearl Dairy (Ngwe Sin Pearl) put into operation a wastewater treatment plant at their dairy factory that was installed with the support from “Tha Bar Wa”. The plant will reduce wastewater pollution and therefore the risks to the neighbouring communities and the environment. Tha Bar Wa” has also provided technical assistance to 11 SMEs in designing their wastewater treatment plants and works with the F&B industries of Yangon and Mandalay regions to increase awareness of cleaner production processes. The project also supports the government to establish more effective and business friendly environmental regulations. In particular, the project works closely with the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation on the effective implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
U Tin Win, the Managing Director of Silvery Pearl (Ngwe Sin Pearl) Dairy said “The (Tha Bar Wa) project not only provides capacity building assistance but also technically supports business owners like us so that effective implementation of cleaner production could be managed. In my view installing wastewater treatment plant is just the beginning of reducing environmental impact. Now I can be proud of being a responsible business man and a true citizen who love his country’s nature and environment.”