Last two weeks on the 5th of June during World Environment Day celebrations, I was in Nyaungshwe town. By 5pm Saya O-pekyal and I attended the planting ceremony. Planting trees are higher than the height of a man; trees are known to be of species of persimmon. I haven’t asked whether it was Myanmar family or that of a neighboring country. As far as I understand whether they are of Myanmar family or foreign ones, it is important that they grow well in our homeland.
During the ceremony, an authority from Town Development Committee said that something I could not ignore in accordance with the 2006 survey: the untimely death rate was as high as 20,000 because of air pollution and its related conditions. The day happened to be “ World Environment Day”; the celebrations on the theme of “ Beat Air Pollution” are being held throughout the world.
Visibly worst hit
According to the Global Climate Risk Index during 1995 and 2014, the world experienced harsh climates; there were 183 countries with Myanmar recorded as the second worst-hit country. Nargis Cyclone in 2008, many casualties due to the 2010 extreme heat and 2015 flooding disasters happened very recently. Myanmar is visibly the hardest hit country in terms of climatic changes among the other countries in the world. Myanmar should maintain ecological balance which it has had in the past, according to the Technical Report of World Wide Fund released in March, 2017.
Hazardous to Health
What was the worst environmental damage about 20 years in Myanmar?; the answer would be deforestation, according to a foreign expert.
There is a lot of environmental damage in Myanmar; the people have been facing various kinds of worst cases: worst droughts on record, heavy rain with flooding, air pollution, increasing death rate because of air pollution, water pollution followed by increasing death rate, dryness of fertile top-soil lead to be hit in the areas of economy and health.
According to the forecasts described in the Report, Myanmar would experience unprecedented high temperatures in the middle of this century. The yearly average rate of the temperature during the two decades—1981- 2010—is 0.25c to the highest 0.4c. The rate was found to be higher and higher. The comparison of the coastal areas and land areas is said to have a high temperature in the latter. In the Report, the temperature not only rises but there is also little rain. Myanmar will face dangerous levels of sea water.
More sufferings of evil effects
After Nargis cyclone, the future cyclones in coming years, have nothing to do with evil effects of other cyclones which will hit Myanmar in terms of depth and emphasis on only climatic changes.
Increasing population, unprotected living of the population, unsystematic land use and deforestation could cause ill effects of the storms. People in deltaic areas will mainly have to suffer from more evil effects of the cyclones.
While reading that Report, the other day I happened to listen to the radio about cyclonic shelters; as many as 200 cyclonic shelters were built in Delta and Rakhine regions. As far as I know there are 4000 cyclonic shelters in Bangladesh. 500 to 2500 could take shelter in one shelter. The result is the death rate in Bangladesh has dramatically reduced.
In Myanmar, everything is urgently needed; the infrastructure of power supplies, transport, buildings, communications, water supply systems, and waste disposal systems is included. To carry out respective sectors and resolutions, plans must be drawn in consideration of the ill effects of climatic changes. For instant, uncertain about water flowing downstream, one has to rely on water management experts for cooperation.
It is highly important to reestablish the watershed to maintain the water above the ground and underground. Many sectors in the infrastructural developments are closely related; with a collapse of one sector leads to others resulting in evil effects. In decades to come, infrastructure developments such as planning and buildings of embankments and hydroelectric power in Myanmar must be carried out in consideration of climatic changes by means of prioritization. Translated by Arakan Sein