Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who is the Chairman of the National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) addressed the NWRC coordination meeting 1/2019 on the committee’s future work processes held at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning
The Vice President said nine meetings including today’s meeting were held after the NWRC was reformed. Future work process coordination meetings of NWRC were held with the aims of developing water and related sectors, effective management and usage of water resources, to support effective and beneficial cooperation with international organizations and coordinating on difficulties faced in works implemented on water resources sector. The majority of the works have been implemented and efforts will be made towards implementing the remaining works.
At the NWRC coordination meeting 3/2018 held on 31 August 2018 after the occurrence of flooding and inundation in 2018 decisions were made to prevent blockage of drains in cities and towns to prevent flooding and inundation; formulation of regulations for the people in disposing of wastes; implementation of arrangements to reduce flooding and inundation in Sittaung, Thanlwin, Bago, Shwekyin, Bilin, Taninthayi rivers and Daung Myu Creek; inspect the strengths of dams and reservoir and to educate, inform and notify people living downstream of dams and reservoirs; inspect the embankments in Taninthayi and Hpa-an towns and to install water outlets and sluice gates along roads, railways and related places. The majority of the decisions have already been implemented.
The country faces storms and cyclones, flooding, inundation and bank erosions during the rainy season and water scarcity in the summer in the same way as other South East Asian countries. The State is spending a lot of funds yearly on prevention and mitigation works including construction of cyclone shelters as well as conducting relief and rehabilitation works for people who face water related natural disasters. Soon the hot and dry summer will come and relevant ministries and organizations are to conduct preparation works to reduce and mitigate water scarcity and disruption of water supply. Similarly, continued cooperation and coordination between relevant ministries and state/region governments have to be made towards electricity generation, potable and irrigation water distribution, safe and secure waterway transports, prevention of embankment erosion, preventing water pollution, water resources development and all round management of water resources.
After forming of the NWRC, it observed World Water Day on 22 March every year with the participation of relevant ministries and organizations, local and international NGOs (Non-Government Organisations). The opening ceremony of 2019 World Water Day, talks and exhibition related to water will be held in Nay Pyi Taw on the first week of March. The theme of this year World Water Day is “Leaving No One Behind.” All ministries, departments and organizations related to water are urged to participate in the holding of the 2019 World Water Day as they have all done in the past years.
NWRC and water related ministries and departments are cooperating on projects and studies on water sector development with countries including Netherlands, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, Norway and France and international organizations. It is also conducting regional cooperation by cooperating with ASEAN, Mekong River Commission and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation. Ministries and departments are also cooperating and coordinating with international organizations on water related data/information collection, studies, conducting project works and support implementation works with more complete data/information.
Committee members are urged and required to actively discuss and suggest on matters relating to water related works conducted by ministries and departments connected to the committee, cooperation with international organizations, requirement of coordination with other ministries and departments and suggestions made. Data/information on water is required to be systematically shared among ministries and departments. Relevant ministries and departments are urged to continue to strive toward successful establishment and implementation of all round water resources management system that is beneficial to the people and the country said the Vice President.
Next, committee Vice Chairman Union Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung explained about possibility of water scarcity, requirement for preparation works, preventing water pollution and waste disposal into rivers and creeks, maintaining of waterways, establishing a good water law, short and long term work processes to reduce flooding and inundation. Committee Secretary Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems Director-General U Tun Lwin Oo explained about decision made at the coordination meeting 3/2018, implemented and under implementation, development works for Ayeyawady River delta area, water quality measurement works, sharing of water related data/information, water pollution prevention and mitigation works, preparations for World Water Day event, cooperation with international organizations and committee’s future works.
Afterwards chairman, secretary and members of NWRC Advisory Group and departmental officials discussed on points to be considered in constructing dams and reservoirs, plans ought to be drawn to mitigate and reduce flooding and inundation, work process to draw up water law, prevention of Golden Apple Snail infestation, work status of advisory group and ministry wise provision of funds for natural disasters.
Following this, Union Ministers Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Ohn Win, U Win Khaing and U Soe Win, Deputy Ministers U Tin Myint and U Soe Aung, state/region ministers, departmental heads and officials discussed about rainwater harvesting; works conducted on collecting groundwater seepage; preliminary works conducted on mitigating effects of climate change, flooding and inundation in Myanmar; state/region wise works on maintaining groundwater seepage sites; management and usage of water resources; electricity generation from hydro-power for local electricity requirement; state/region wise damages and loss from flooding, inundation, bank erosion; works on improving water flow; drawing up a water law; mitigation and prevention works on flooding, inundation and water scarcity; maintaining of natural environment and water basin areas; ongoing ministry wise works; project aims; international cooperation works and future works of the
The meeting came to a close after Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivered a concluding speech. In his concluding speech the Vice President thanked all on behalf of the committee for the notable matters discussed, to work on the matters discussed in the day’s meeting, of being honored for the depiction of a picture of Inle Lake as the logo for World Water Day and urged for continuing the collective cooperation works on implementing and conducting future water related works.
The meeting was attended by NWRC members, union level organization members, state/ region government members, ministers, heads of departments, advisory group chairman and members, technicians and officials.
(Translated by Zaw Min)