Source: The Myanmar Times

Date: 8 March, 2018


To solve the problem with erosion of the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems is carrying out a renovation project.

The project will be funded by the Union government or regional government within its allowed budget.

Since 2013, renovation work has been carried out every year in Mandalay using regional government funds.

A initial K1 billion was spent on the project, the cost of which has now exceeded K4 billion, according to U Toe Aung Lin, director of the regional Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems.

"Since we started the conservation work, we have carried out erosion prevention on 100 sections of riverbank. Erosion prevention had not been carried out in these areas for a long time, prior to the project," said U Toe Aung Lin.

The decrease of forests and excessive mining of gold and quarrying in the river's watershed are the primary causes of riverbank erosion; massive rainfalls leading to a strong flow of water is another cause, said U Toe Aung Lin.

Villages along the Ayeyarwady are at risk due to the collapse of the riverbanks, especially during the monsoon.

"As our village is an alluvium in the middle of the river, there is nothing left in the village since the land collapsed.

Many households need to be moved, and now there is no place for us to resettle. We just hope the prevention work will help," said U Kyi Ngwe, a local from Ywarthar village in Singu township.

Most of the land collapses occurred in Madaya, Singu, Tada-U and Nyaung-U townships.

"We have built according to the approved design," said Ko Soe Moe Aung of Myat Bone Yan Company, which is building a dam in Sinthay village, Singu township.

The erosion prevention project began in January and will end in March when the river is at its lowest point.

"If bank erosion prevention procedures are not implemented, it will be dangerous, as the river is near houses now. There are also weather changes every year, and it is hard to predict. Last year, Madaya township lost a lot of farmland because of the river," said U Maung Maung Aye, the regional Hluttaw MP for constituency No. 1 in Madayar township.