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February 26, 2018

It is time for YCDC to make good on its pledges

The bouts of heavy rain, apparently brought by storm Mora, inundated a vast area of Yangon and overwhelmed the city drainage capacity, causing motorists to get stuck in traffic and forcing the people to wade waist-deep into the water to run their chores.
One thing leads to another, and all of a sudden a whole slew of symptoms converge into a stream of serious ailments. First, there was flooding, a common enough occurrence in the city after heavy rain. The city’s ineffective drainage system is being blamed for the floods, and the allowance of the urban landscape to grow with little regard for proper design and management of the city’s drainage system a factor to blame.
The floods have also caused frequent power cuts, which leave traffic lights unpowered, playing havoc with people across the city being stuck in traffic.
The issue has now become a topic of discussion. Rapid development and population growth compounded by increasing environmental degradation and the effects of climate change made the city more vulnerable to flood than other areas of the country.
That is because we tend to shy away from tackling problems at the root cause. We try to solve structural problems but do little to fix cultural issues having to do with people’s environmental behavior and social responsibility. Crisis management is the name of the game.
A tendency of the people to leave rubbish behind, including large pieces such disposed plastic bottles, various furniture items and assortments of other trash makes the problem worse. If they are troubled by environmental or developmental harm caused by their actions, they will find some rationale to explain it.
Yangon is at greater risk than many other parts of the country to flood in the rainy season because of its blocked drainages. It is easy for the people to lambaste the government for the failure to deal adequately with city’s drainage systems. Instead, the people should do all they can to support and encourage the government in its endeavors.
The YCDC received its fair share of criticism during the floods, and it is time to revive and then make good on its pledges to turn the city into a clean and pleasant one.


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