Emergency Flood Control Structures for Improved Health and Safety of residents in Mandalay
HST's application knowhow and on-site innovation with KSB's efficient Amacan pumps designed for flood control successfully resolved the problems at the collapsed embankment
The land on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River (also known as the Ayeyarwady River) where the Mandalay City sits is low and prone to heavy flooding. The area is in need of a proper flood control system and infrastructure.
Flooding gets much worse during the wet season running from May through October. Heavy rainfall causes rivers to rise and further flooding. In 2019, several states and regions in Myanmar were hit by heavy monsoon rainfall and flooding from mid-July that started with Kachin and Rakhine states and Sagaing Region. The United Nations (UN) in a report stated that over 40,000 people were displaced by the monsoon flooding by the end of July and they stayed in 186 evacuation centres in Kachin, Rakhine, Chin, and Mon states, as well as Bago, Sagaing, Mandalay and Magway regions. By early August, more than 89,000 people across nine states and regions were displaced by the monsoon flooding. The country is in need of a well-established drainage and flood control system.
In July 2020, an embankment along the Irrawaddy River collapsed and flood control has become an even greater concern for the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC). The water from the swelling river due to heavy rain leaked through the weak soil and the weakened embankment could not hold the pressure for any longer. The collapse resulted in a flood that destroyed the roads near the embankment and affected the lowland areas. More than 12,000 residents had to leave their homes. The authority sought after the technical and service support of Han Sein Thant Engineering (HST) in its attempt to drain out the water at the collapsed embankment while fixing the damages and taking care of the welfare of the residents who lost their homes.
Due to the emergency and severity of the situation, the authority could not allow long period of time for the construction of typically concrete flood control structures to install the pumps. Mr James U Thant Zin, the Managing Director of HST, planned the standing support design with mobile pipelines as an immediate innovative solution to curb the situation. Since the standing support design was mobile, the team of HST's engineers kept the pipelines short with just 75 m in length as the mobility made the it possible to set up the structures easier and closer to the main source of electricity.
KSB's Amacan pumps in HST's warehouse were used due to the high efficiency for applications with large flow range and lower power consumption. KSB's Amacan pumps are designed with low-vibration hydraulic system with inlet ribs and optimised bellmouth for vortex-free inflow. KSB's Amacan pumps ensure self-centring seating in discharge tubes due to their own weight and this makes installation and removal of the pumps easier, and this has sped up the execution of the emergency project.
HST's application knowhow and on-site innovation with KSB's efficient Amacan pumps assisted the authority to quickly cease the damages caused by the flood. Upon successful execution of the emergency project, the technical mechanism of the standing support design has been verified.
Due to high construction costs to build concrete structures for typical flood control systems, it has been challenging for the authority to execute various flood control projects. During emergencies, it has been even more challenging as the conventional flood control stations take about 2 – 4 years to build. Now with the proven design from HST that is mobile and standing, the authority will be able to help the residents much more promptly at lower costs especially during unforeseen emergencies.
Effects on people exposed to flood water include acute outcomes of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, drownings from walking or driving through flood water, injuries from contacts with debris and submerged objects in flood water, damages due to building collapses, diarrhoeal, vector- and rodent-borne diseases, respiratory, skin and eye infections, and chemical poisoning such as carbon monoxide poisoning as well as mental stress. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one third of the flood-related deaths globally are from physical trauma, heart attacks, electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning or fire. Hence, provision of improved water supply and drainage system is one of the most significant goals of the authorities in order to improve the standard of healthily living for the residents in the city.
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