A Thai company, Hydrotek, an engineering firm, says it is planning to enter the water-management business in Burma, which is underdeveloped and will grow in the near future.
Chief executive officer Slib Soongswang told The Nation newspaper in Bangkok the company will focus on Burma and Laos, because they are similar to Thailand 30 years ago.
Slib said a lot of manufacturers lack a wastewater-treatment system, and a country with a growing industrial sector also normally lacks tap-water supplies, he said.
The Burmese government plans to issue a regulation on restricting wastewater from manufacturers in a few months, Slib told The Nation.
During a visit to Burma last week, Slib said he met with the head of the Rangoon City Development Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
Water supply in Burma is 511,000 cubic metres a day, which reaches 60 per cent of the total population of 60 million people, he said. Wastewater treatment runs at 12,360 cubic metres a day. About 80-90 per cent of manufacturers in Burma have not installed a wastewater-treatment system.
Hydrotek has hired a Burmese consultant to conduct market research on water- and wastewater-treatment businesses. The company recently opened a representative office in Rangoon.
The Thai water-management market is expected to grow 15 per cent annually. Currently, the market is worth about Bt5 billion, the company said.
The issue of drinking water came up in the Rangoon Region Assembly in November, Mizzima reported, when a member,U Kyaw, said that the drinking water distributed by the Rangoon City Development Committee to the outskirts of Rangoon was insufficient and he urged the City Development Committee to distribute more water.
“Most of the people in our township are poor,” he said. “To get water, they have to wait until late at night, so they cannot sleep. Because of insufficient water there are health problems,” U Kyaw told the assembly.
In response to the motion, the Rangoon mayor said that Rangoon distributed 160 million gallons of water daily and there are plans to distribute more water.
“All MPs listen attentively. But when the motion was put into vote, it was supported by only 24 MPs. The military representatives and the USDP MPs objected,” a reporter told Mizzima.
Rangoon Mayor Hla Myint said that the Rangoon City Development Committee distributes water from Gyophyu Reservoir, Hlawgar Reservoir, Phoogyi Reservoir and Ngamoeyeik Reservoir to 33 townships in the city and distributes underground water to the townships through pump-wells.