World Bank pumps in $100m to halt floods in Yangon

Yangon Region Minister U Phyo Min Thein said a study on how to address the floods in Yangon is ongoing, partly using the $100 million aid.

Currently, drains in the Yangon City are becoming narrow and low amid increasing population and increasing rainfall, he said in a recent meeting with the vice president and the business community in the city. He noted that Yangon City population has reached nearly five million.

“We are now conducting analyzing work to cope with the floods with the help of $100 million aid from the World Bank,” said U Phyo Min Thein.

“We have to use pump to discard water from Yangon City. When flood hits the city, we will close the gates of the water and then will discard water from the city using pump. Water will not flow out of the city itself,” he added.

Moreover, drains cannot discard water well because people do not throw away trash systematically making it another cause of the floods, said U Phyo Min Thein.

The government is trying to repair drains and pavements on one hand, and on the other hand, it is studying a new city project aimed at reducing the city’s population, he said.

“All these cannot be done easily. To make it effective we need to have a systematic plan on how to utilize the assistance,” said U Phyo Min Thein.

Yangon Region is linked with Ayeyarwady River and there are three channels that flow into Yangon region to reduce the water level of the river naturally.

The water flows from Bago to Taikkyi-Aphyout township and to the back of Hmawbi and through Hlaing river and to the sea. If the channels are closed, it can reduce the heavy flood of Ayeyarwady River.

Nearly K10 billion was used in the previous fiscal year to prevent flooding in Aphyout township, the minister said.
Moreover, Ngamoeyeik creek flood is linked with sea. It has rising tide and ebb tide time.

The entrance roads to Yangon are also flooded every year because of the heavy flood of Bartan creek.

But Minister U Phyo Min Thein said Htaunkkyant Road was not flooded last year because of regular maintenance work along Ngamoeyeik creek and Bartan creek.

He noted that if the floods happen, infrastructure can be destroyed, so to be able to protect the infrastructure the government uses more money to prevent floods. The Yangon Region tax increased to K200 billion in last fiscal year so anti-flood measures could be carried out, he said.

Source: Myanmar Times