Restoration and upgrading of ancient lakes continues in Bagan

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The Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department of NyaungU has completed bank raising, spillway construction and canal restoration tasks in Alan Pagan (Alanpya lake), Alekan (Maroe lake) and Nyun Lettaphetkan under 2023-2024 fiscal budget and is continuing these works in other lakes.

As 46 ancient lakes in the Bagan Cultural Area are planned to be restored, people can donate in their own capacity or for a whole lake.

From 24 January 2024, the Archaeological and National Museum Department (Bagan Division) started restoration works, cleaning, bank raising, drudging and topographic mapping in Shwehtikan (east of Pagan Myaw Pagoda), Swetaw Myotaw Lake (between Sulamani and Dhammayangyi pagodas), and No-name lake (northeast of Myay Bontha Pagoda).

These activities will slightly reduce flooding near the ancient buildings with greater water conservation benefitting year-round agricultural water and drinking water for animals.

The World Heritage Committee inscribed Myanmar’s ancient capital of Bagan as a World Heritage Site on 6 July 2019 at the 43rd session of the UN’ cultural body in Baku, Azerbaijan with Resolution 43 COM 8B. 20 and as it also stipulated 19 proposals to resubmit the actions taken, the activities like mapping, research, maintenance, erection of zone boundary posts, water channel research and other management tasks need to be continued.

Regarding Bagan’s ancient water management system, the department conducted research works in cooperation with experts from Trent University, Canada in 2018-19 and with hydrology expert Dr. Massimo Sarti for three times from February 2022 to August 2023.

The department has started the survey for water channel in Bagan since 2015 and carried out the record verification, ground surveying and lake grading since November 2023.

The report on ancient lakes was submitted to the World Heritage Committee in 2018 and the another report on the findings of the water channel survey carried out until 2023 will also be submitted.

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