Mandalay increases spending to counter riverbank erosion
AFTER the Ayeyarwady River spilled over its banks and inundated the country’s second-biggest city earlier this year, region authorities are getting to work to stave off a similar fate next year.
More than K3.4 billion will be spent in the 2016-17 financial year on preventing riverbank erosion in Mandalay Region, according to the region’s Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems.
Erosion prevention works, which are expected to be complete by April 2017, will be carried out in six of the region’s townships: Myingyan, Taungtha, Singaing, Madaya, Patheingyi and Singu.
“We have to prioritise villages which are urgently in need of preventative action against annual riverbank erosion. We are planning to do anti-erosion works in 16 villages in the six townships,” said U Toe Aung Lin, head of the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems in Mandalay.
Initial preparations are expected to begin in mid-October, and will be followed by a call for tenders once plans have been finalised, he added.
“Our department will draw up designs for the repairs and then we will call for tenders for the project. Repair works are expected to start at the end of December. All works are expected to be completed by the end of April next year,” U Toe Aung Lin said.
Singu township, which is situated alongside the Ayeyarwady River, will receive the bulk of the funding, K1.8 billion.
“In Mandalay, riverbank erosion often happens in Singu and NyaungU townships. Villages in these two townships are located on sandbanks so it is hard to do maintenance,” said U Toe Aung Lin.
Between May and August this year, more than K76 million was spent on emergency preventive measures against riverbank erosion in 11 villages in Mandalay Region. In August, the river breached danger levels at Mandalay water stations, and burst its banks in historic Amarapura township, forcing more than 1200 households to relocate to higher ground.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe
Sandbags were deployed throughout Mandalay in August as the Ayeyarwady River burst its banks.