August 19, 2016

River erosion sweeps away over 100 acres of farmland in Bago Region

Farmland destroyed by erosion in Pandaung Township.
Farmland destroyed by erosion in Pandaung Township.

THE erosion of the Buyo River bank, which runs through the villages of Kwyal Ye, Sharphyu Kwin and Kyan Su in Padaung Township, Bago Region, has claimed over 100 acres of farmland, bringing local dwellings closer to the river’s edge, according to villagers.
The Buyo River used to be located roughly 500 feet away from the villages, but an increase in water flow has caused the loss of over 100 acres of land used for the cultivation of food crops between 2014 and 2015.
“We had to relocate our dwelling because of the eroding river bank. The gradual relocation of houses has meant that only the village road remains in front of our homes. Last rainy season was particularly bad. The river bank eroded away so fast. People from the village had to rally together and help dismantle the dwellings in danger of falling into the river. This was all carried out without assistance from any kind of organisation,” said U Kyi Than, a resident of Kyan Su Village.
Heavy rains last August saw the emergency relocation of three dwellings located close to the eroding river bank. Local village administrators notified the township-level administration in January this year of the concerns of residents who still live in dwellings by edge of the river. Thetownship level administration responded to the concerns by conducting field trip inspections to those dwellings.
“Erosion of the river bank is going to continue as soon as the first rains arrive. We have to live with that anxiety every day. I want to say to those with responsibility, please divert the water flow or build some kind of dam to alleviate the force of the water, which is causing the erosion,” said U Thein Aung of Sharphyu Village. Daw Zin Moe Htaik, a representative for Panaung Township in the Bago Region Hluttaw, has said that she will raise the issue of management of the Buyo River in the parliament, as well as propose it to relevant land committees, in a bid to initiate a dam project. The threatened villages comprise over 600 households, with those residing in dwellings beside the Buyo River living in a state of concern for the future of their property. Residents have stated that the land in the villages will slowly be lost if nothing is done to mitigate the effects of the river bank erosion.


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