August 19, 2016

As sandbanks clog up rivers, flooding augmented in Rakhine State

The sandbanks that slop up the rivers.
The sandbanks that slop up the rivers.

sandbanks, which are blocking the course of rivers and streams in Rakhine State, need to dredged to prevent flooding, say local residents and engineers.
They point out that low-lying townships within the state are prone to flooding when rivers and streams in mountainous areas flow down into the sea, leaving behind sandbanks, highlighting how the dredging of these sandbanks could help abate the extent of such floods.
“Sandbanks blocking the course of rivers need to be dredged; current flooding has affected townships located 100ft above sea level. Waters rise, not because of tides, but because of rain water in rivers and streams that fail to flow out into the sea,” said U Shwe Thein, a marine expert and chief engineer of an international shipping company.
Residents of Rakhine State have reportedly made overtures to local government for assistance to tackle annual flooding which destroys lives, properties and farming.
“A company has presented us with a proposal to dredge the sandbanks. We’ve forwarded the proposal to Union Government but are yet to hear any response,” said U Min Aung, Minister of the Rakhine State Development Committee.
Recent floods have affected more than 20,000 local people in both north and south Rakhine State, a region of the Myanmar frequented by natural disasters.
“Rainfall, which washes down off the mountains, causes rivers and creeks to overflow and flood low-lying areas; whole stretches of riverbanks have been swept away. Research on the state’s waterways needs to be conducted with the help of experts. We need to dredge rivers and streams that have been silted up with sandbanks,” said U Aye Thar Aung, vice chair of Amyotha Hluttaw.
Rakhine State is a coastal region abound with rivers and creeks. It’s famous for its rivers of Kaladan, Laymyo, Nat and Mayu.


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