In 2011, Myanmar started to democratize and to open up its economy. It resulted in an estimated growth of 7%-8% annually. The expectation is that this growth will continue. This development will be strengthened by the country’s strategic location between China, India and Thailand; the heart of the world’s fastest-growing regional economy. Myanmar’s expected industrialization, rapid urbanization and changing consumption patterns will come with important challenges in managing the country’s solid waste.
The Dutch water sector is already active in Myanmar, providing support in enhancing its resilience to floods in view of its large delta areas, rivers and coastal zones. At the same time, one of the most important issues in water management is the presence of solid waste, causing extreme levels of pollution and urban floodings, as well as liquid waste polluting the fresh water resources that are currently still abundant. The Dutch Embassy considers to broaden its focus by including solid (/liquid) waste management.
Myanmar’s 57 million inhabitants are producing an estimated 15-20.000 tons of solid waste per day, much of it in the main cities Yangon and Mandalay. These amounts are expected to rise rapidly and will cause serious (health and environmental) problems if not properly dealt with. At the same time it may provide a future market with opportunities for companies and institutions in Myanmar and the Netherlands.
The Netherlands intends to explore the possibilities to develop the waste sector in Myanmar with Dutch expertise and support. As a start, a scoping mission by Herman Huisman of Rijkswaterstaat Environment, Hans Breukelman of BreAd BV and Bert Keesman of MetaSus will visit the country coming March 13-24 2017. The team will assess existing policies, infrastructure, organizations, services and market circumstances. The result will be a market and cooperation report.
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