Bago flood affects fish farming lakes, losses unknown yet

Continuous heavy rainfall in recent days resulted in the flooding of Bago Region, adversely affecting some fish farming lakes, said U Win Kyaing, general secretary of Myanmar Fishery Federation.
“I am checking with the Bago Region Fishery Federation about the condition of the lakes. The lakes located on Bago Road Phayargyi Pagoda and Bago University are also flooded. The total loss is still unknown,” he added.
The flood level is dropping and the flood-affected lakes have recovered a bit, he maintained.
“Businessmen took lessons from previous flooding incidents and improved the banks of fish ponds. However, the water level is unpredictable as the record keeps increasing year after year. The loss caused by disasters is a great challenge for the businessmen,” said U Win Kyaing.
Fish ponds are rarely seen in other flood-stricken states—Kayin and Mon—and so, there is no damage there. The ponds are primarily found in Ayeyawady, Bago and Yangon regions. Heavy rainfall is forecasted for August and September, raising concerns over the fish ponds in these regions, he continued.
In 2015, around 35,000 acres of fish ponds in Ayeyawady, Yangon and Bago regions and 58,000 acres of prawn farming lakes in Rakhine State were flooded, causing losses worth Ks50 billion. The flooding in 2016 was not as worse as that of 2015. Last year, the country did not face any flood disaster.
“People are catching fish, even as fish ponds are flooded. A viss of fish sells for around Ks2,500 on the streets. When fish is sold out, vendors catch fish again using fishing nets. There is a large number of fish buyers,” said a customer.
The Fishery Department has already released a notice to owners of fish ponds about the possible flooding. Myanmar Fishery Federation had already encouraged businessmen to upgrade the banks of fishing ponds and to harvest and sell fish before the possible flooding period.
At present, Mon and Kayin states and Bago Region are affected by flood and some houses are at risk. Displacement of flood victims and rescue activities are being carried out.
According to data of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology at 6:30am on 30 July, the water level in Thabaung, Toungoo, Madauk, Shwegyin, Bilin, Bago and Hpa-an towns is above the danger level and the water level in Hinthada, Zalun, Ngathingchaung, Pathein and Maubin towns has nearly crossed the danger level. Additionally, according to the department’s findings at 7am on 30 July, it forecasted that continuous heavy rainfall would occur in Taninthayi Region and Rakhine and Mon states in the next two days.

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