Focus on reducing impact of drought

With changing rainfall patterns and drought year by year, the climate change is hitting the world including our country.
Our country is witnessing less rainfall patterns year by year and less water had flowed into the dams than expected.
A fall in the water level in the dams means thirstier winter and summer crops, quenched with less water supply from dams.
As anticipated, drought has arrived in our country, mostly affecting sections of the nation’s rural areas.
The situation has rung alarm bells and brought into focus the need to fundamentally rethink water resources management and agricultural pattern.
In this situation, regional and state governments are urged to take a leading role in managing, planning and proper use of rivers and water resources which are one of the most vital resources for fresh water supply and will be crucial for future climate change conditions.
To solve the challenges from the climate change-induced drought, we need to lay down and implement concrete plans and projects which focus sustainable use of underground water, finding new ways to satisfy the impending rapid increase in demand for drinking water and irrigation water in rural areas and effective use and management of existing water resources.

… regional and state governments are urged to take a leading role in managing, planning and proper use of rivers and water resources which are one of the most vital resources for fresh water supply and will be crucial for future climate change conditions.

Our country had abundant water, holding 16 per cent of the water resources in ASEAN and 12 per cent in all of Asia.
We should keep in mind that Myanmar is the world’s second most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index prepared by research group Germanwatch. Studies have shown that the onset of monsoon is becoming more variable, increasing the risk of drought.
In the dry zone, water is becoming more scarce every year with frequent droughts. The dry zone comprises 58 townships in Mandalay, Magwe, and Sagaing, and is home to 10 million people, who mostly rely on rain-fed agriculture and oil crops.
The worst has not yet come. Food security will be at risk if more rice-producing regions experience crop failure, and an energy crisis will be imminent if supply of water at hydropower plants falls short. The chain reaction set off by drought will continue further in the form of inflation as a result of declining rice production.
There is no time to waste. We must prepare to solve our climate crisis. Significant water resource management, reducing industry’s impacts on the environment, cleaning up rivers, coastal waters and contaminated land and encouraging our farmers to take up different crops and different agricultural techniques, which need less water can make a difference.

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