Besides putting peace process high on its agenda, Kayin State government is paying serious attention on such development undertakings as power supply, agriculture and smooth transport in the state.
It signed ceasefire agreement with ethnic armed groups – DKBA, KNU, KNU/KNLA – at the state-level and also with the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement by these groups, it is marching towards the goal of peace together with these brethren.
“Peace is the top priority for Kayin State government. Therefore, talking about the performance of the state government will be focused on the peace process. The office of Joint Monitoring Committee on Ceasefire in Kayin State was opened in Hpa-an, the capital of the state. The committee is organized with 16 members. Meetings focusing on economic and social affairs and security are held monthly. Office of this committee is also opened in Hpa-pun and meetings are also in the same manner.” said Chief Minister of Kayin State Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint.
To build unity among all tribes residing in Kayin State and to display their traditional culture, Ethnic Traditional Literature and Cultural Festival was organized in February 2018 on a grand scale.
Ensuring smooth transportation in the state is one of the priorities set by the state government.
In 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, Eidu-Zarthabyin road, and concrete road in downtown areas on Mudon-Myawady road; 500 feet long Anankwin bridge and ; 330 feet long Zamichaung bridge on Thanbyuzayet-Hpayathonzu road; 300 feet long Hlaingkwe creed bridge on Mudon-Myawady road were opened.
“The second priority is transportation. This year saw the opening of 41 mile long concrete road from Kyainseikkyi to Chaungzon (Hpayathonzu). The road contributes much towards welfare of locals. Fourteen bridges were also opened. Many roads, too, were opened throughout the state.” said the chief minister.
A local named U Saw Han Yi seconded her saying, “The efforts of the state government met success to some extent. All the visitors to Kayin State surely witness these achievements. Smooth transportation results in tourism industry booming. These are real achievements.”
Kayin State is home to 15 million populations including Kayin, Mon, Bamar, Pa-O and Shan. It is formed with four districts, seven townships, 11 towns, 376 village tracts and 2097 villages.
In the efforts of the state government to enjoy fruits of development, electricity supply is no exception.
“Another priority set by the state government is power supply. Previously, only 4 out of 7 townships enjoyed electricity. Now, people living in Kyainseikkyi and Kawkareik townships are enjoying electricity round the clock. Only Hpa-pun Township left to be supplied electricity but measures are being taken to supply power to the township. Moreover, over 900 villages are enjoying electricity. We’ll try our best for the people enabling them to enjoy electricity the whole state.” the chief minister said.
As regards supplying electricity in Kayin State, State Minister of Electricity and Industry U Soe Hlaing said, “In 2017-2018 FY, all out efforts are being made to supply electricity to the villages which left to enjoy electricity. Moreover, we are planning to build a power plant in the state. This is to build coal-fired power plant applying USC technology of Japan. It met success to a certain extent. Solar power is used for areas where electricity supply is not reaching. Small-scale hydropower plants were built to supply power.
“Transmission line overhaul were launched in Hpa-an, and roads were lit with lights. For beautifying Kawkareik Township, street lampposts were erected.”
“It is our target to supply electricity to all villages in the state in the next five years. If electricity cannot reach, solar power or hydropower is another option for that area.” he said.
During the second year in its office, the state over 1640 million kyat was spent on erecting traffic lights in Hpa-an and multisectoral development works in Myawady in 2016-2017 FY.
In 2017-2018 FY, upgrading works and erecting traffic lights and lampposts have been carried out in Hpa-an.
Regarding water supply, the state government, under its supervision, sank 43 artesian wells in Hpa-an and Hlaingbwe Townships. “Artesian wells have been sank for potable water and the sample water was sent to Yangon for laboratory proof if it is proper to drink or not. This is to ensure the water is free from infectious disease and the people to be free from the trouble of buying water.” said State Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation Minister U Saw Myint Oo.
Agriculture sector is another field on which the state government is paying attention. According to sources from State Government, over 800 acre of land was exposed this year and total amount of land exposed within two years was 1400 acres.
Within two years 1077 acres of fallow land, 428 acres of virgin land and 2933 acres of wild land were changed into cultivable land. “In agriculture sector, some face water scarcity, some floods and thus we are tackling these problems. As regard water for agriculture purpose, we completed 20 works benefiting 3880 acres. As flood water prevention, we conducted 21 preventive works which benefit 7315 acres of land.
“In the livestock breeding sector, the figure rose by 6 percent. There are peace groups in the state and they are provided with cash for agriculture and livestock breeding works. In 2016-2017 FY, the amount of cash for them was100 million kyat and in 2017-2018 FY it stood at 200 million kyat.
Preventive measures against river bank erosion were taken at Thaungyin River, Gawli Creek, Thanlwin River and Gyaing River spending over 800 million kyat. There are hotels and guesthouses in the state. “As Kayin State possesses many tourist attractions, the number tourist has increased year after year. To fulfill its needs, 30 hotels had permission to be constructed. Another five is seeking approval from the union government. The strand road four-year project is being implemented. With the loans from JICA, water supply for the whole Hpa-an is being carried out.” said State Planning, Finance and Development Minister U Than Naing.
Legal Affairs Assessment Commission member U Sa Tun Aung said, “Arrangements have been made to increase the strength of teachers, and build new schools. Electricity supply and smooth transportation developed significantly although it have not reached to rural areas. Health care system has also developed.”
For swift commodity flow in border trade, Myanmar-Thai Friendship bridge No.2 is under construction in Myawady Township. It is nearing to completion and will be commissioned into service in May this year.
The chief minister said, “Arrangements are being made to practice Merge System at Myawady Trade Zone for swift commodity flow. Courses on that matter are being conducted for merchants and staff.” In health care sector, six rural health care centers and 20 rural health care branches have been opened.
During the two years, 153 schools have been upgraded or opened. Teachers are also appointed. For the government employees who are discharging their duties in Kayin State, 188 apartments have been built in Hpa-an, Kawkareik, Myawady, Hpa-pun, Thandaunggyi, Hpayathonzu and Leiktho spending the fund of Urban and Housing Development Department.
For human resource development, Kayin State Information and Public Relations Department, Daw Khin Kyi Foundation and the State Government jointly opened Community Center and conducted English language courses and computer courses.
With the concept that only peace can bring prosperity, Kayin State Government is trying its utmost for prevailing peace. It is cooperating with ethnic groups for regional development.
By Shin Min
(Translated by Wallace)