The number of people displaced by river bank erosion has increased this year in Magway Region when compared to that of last year, according to the Disaster Management Department. Although only about 200 households were displaced by the river bank erosion in 2019, about 300 families were displaced from 1 April till 9 July 2020.
“The department provided monetary assistance amounting to K100,000 to each household to buy the house materials and K2,100 to each family member to buy the ration. We have already provided K30 million. As long as they are in danger, we need to support them promptly,” said U Myint Soe, the regional head of the Disaster Management Department. The Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems is also conducting preventative measures to mitigate erosion of the river banks, spending yearly the funds from the Union Government budget, the regional government budget and the emergency fund.
“We have received monetary assistance from the department. However, we have to mortgage our possessions to be able to buy the land. We have also lost the farmland because of the river bank erosion. We have to start our lives again, building houses and religious buildings,” said U Pho Lone, a resident facing the woes of the landslide disaster. Although waterway maintenance is more important than prevention of river erosion, we need to give priority to providing of assistance to the people who are suffering from the erosion. So, we have to spend budget more on the prevention of river erosion than on waterway maintenance. A total of 33 erosion incidents have occurred in Magway Region with more than 1,100 people suffering from the disaster. Among them, 14 occurred in Yenangyaung township, eight in Minbu district and 11 in Pakokku district, according to the Disaster Management Department. —Zayyatu (Magway) (Translated by Hay Mar)