Daily life disrupted by flooding from rain and shoddy dam

Thu 16 Jul 2009, IMNA,
After particularly heavy rains hit Mon state this last week, some students can’t get to school due to high water levels, and some areas in the local villages are flooding. The cause is not just extreme weather, but the unfinished Burmese government dam project.

Villages nearby the Winpanon dam [Kalort-tort, Taungpa, Htone-mun and Kwan-ka-bue villages] are flooding more then other areas because of a government design failure in which water from dam flows into the villages rather then out to sea during heavy rains. The subsequent flooding has cut off a main road between Htone-mun and Kalort-tort, cutting off about 100 students from school.

On July 14th the Burmese government TV channel said that the level of rain has increased and the water level of Thanlwin River at Hpa-an is 686 cm (22’6”). It may reach the danger level of 750 cm (24’7”) during the next 48 hours as of noon today.

“Heavy rain started about 5 days ago and now and my children can’t go to the Kalort-tort school,” said a student’s parent. “They can’t cross the water because of the water level is at about a person’s waist.”

Htone-mun village has a primary school, but the other students who have graduated must now attend the middle and high schools that are located in Kalort-tort village. The road that crosses between Htone-mun and Kalort-tort village is low lying and floods easily.

“About 100 students can’t come to school and most of them are from the middle school,” said a teacher from the Kalort-tort village.

The Winphannon dam was built by the in 2001, by which the main river that flowed out to sea was blocked. The government authorities began digging a trench to act as an alternative runoff for overflow water. Because the trench is unfinished the overflow water has not been able to runoff in the rainy season and instead flows into paddy fields and low land villages.
The flooding has prompted some villagers to take action to have the dam’s runoff trench completed.

Villagers have sent a request letter to the Mudon Township Peace Development (TPDC) to have someone make a drain, however the TPDC has still not responded to their requests.

“We sent a letter to the TPDC before the heavy rain came, at lest 10 days ago,” said Htone-mun villagers.

According to the Burmese state run news paper, the New Light of Myanmar published on July 15, Ye town is also flooding and some quarters have already had to move to higher places. About 69 households or approximately 325 people are living in a temporary camp.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s