China of­fers to help Myan­mar with wa­ter man­age­ment

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by San Layy and Zar Zar Soe

CHINA has ex­tended an of­fer to as­sist Myan­mar with a large-scale pro­ject to pre­vent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, says the Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment. Chi­nese am­bas­sador to Myan­mar Hong Liang met with Union Min­is­ter for So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment U Win Myat Aye in Nay Pyi Taw yes­ter­day.

“Our coun­try has suf­fered nat­u­ral dis­as­ters each year be­cause of global cli­mate change and as a con­se­quence of the coun­try’s ecosys­tem chang­ing, in­clud­ing for­est de­ple­tion, rivers be­com­ing silted-up, and [the weak­en­ing over time of] dams and ir­ri­ga­tion canals,” U Win Myat Aye said. “Now China has come to dis­cuss this and told us they will give as much help as they pos­si­bly can,” he said.

Mr Hong heard about the need for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of flood-af­fected ar­eas, and says China will con­tinue to pro­vide as­sis­tance.

“Myan­mar suf­fers flood­ing al­most ev­ery year. When we in­ves­ti­gated the cause of this nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, we found that it con­cerns river man­age­ment. Dur­ing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit [to China last week], the two gov­ern­ments made an agree­ment that we will co­op­er­ate on a man­age­ment plan for the Aye­yarwady River,” he said.

China’s deputy min­is­ter of com­merce vis­ited Nay Pyi Taw yes­ter­day, and was sched­uled to meet with of­fi­cials to dis­cuss im­ple­men­ta­tion of agree­ments made be­tween the two coun­tries. Dur­ing State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s land­mark visit to Bei­jing, China pledged to pro­vide 1 bil­lion yuan, or around US$150 mil­lion, for dis­as­ter re­lief.

“We will fix causes of this na­tion­wide nat­u­ral dis­as­ter and China said they want to help us in im­ple­ment­ing such large-scale projects,” U Win Myat Aye told re­porters.

Mean­while, the Chi­nese em­bassy in Myan­mar and two Chi­nese com­pa­nies do­nated K40 mil­lion (US$33,000) to flood vic­tims at the Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment yes­ter­day.

Half of the cash came from the em­bassy, with the State Power In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and Huawei Myan­mar also con­tribut­ing K10 mil­lion apiece. The em­bassy’s money came through dona­tions from staff mem­bers, the am­bas­sador said.

“China and Myan­mar are pauk phaw [brother­hood] friends and it is a good cus­tom to face the dis­as­ter to­gether,” said Mr Hong. “Our suf­fer­ing is equal to Myan­mar’s and we want to help Myan­mar just like be­fore.”

Weather con­di­tions ex­ac­er­bated by El Niño have caused flood­ing through­out China this year and re­lief oper­a­tions are be­ing car­ried out, but Myan­mar and Chi­nese cit­i­zens are equal, he said.

“The do­na­tion will sup­port the emer­gency aid and re­set­tle­ment oper­a­tions for flood vic­tims,” said U Win Myat Aye.

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