Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Riverbank reinforcement begins

Before monsoon season kicks in, authorities are planning to bulk up river- banks in villages hard-hit by last year’s flooding.

Mandalay’s Water Resources and River Development Department plans to spend K150 million to protect against riverbank erosion in seven villages along the Ayeyarwady under the government’s 100-days program.

Department deputy director U Toe Lin Aung said proactive measures were being taken to avoid a repeat of damages suffered in flooding last year.

“Three villages suffered from river- bank collapse. When we reached there, the riverbanks had already fallen in and we didn’t have any budget to provide support. We could only contribute manpower,” he said.

“So while drawing up the 2016-17 budget, we allocated K150 million assisting any emergency river bank collapses.”

The seven villages earmarked for bank reinforcement are – See Thel village and Hinthama village in Singu township; Thahtay Gone village, Kone Tan village and Sin Kyoon village in Madaya township; and Kyoon Sin village and Chite Gyi village in Patheingyi township.

“Nothing can be built firmly due to the nature of riverbanks. All will be wasted because of the [gushing] water. So we will use the most effective material we can,” U Toe Lin Aung said.

The department plans to reduce the water flow and pressure, thus safeguarding the embankments. Last year, this erosion protection system was installed in several villages and had proven successful.

The seven villages identified will have a 150-foot-long steel cable system installed to prevent any damage.

“If we can protect it this rainy season, it could save many,” he said.

The measurements of the banks have already started in Sin Kyoon village and Kyonn Sin village, which were affected in April, while work will soon start in the other five villages, with an expected completion date of mid-June.

 Translation by Khine Thazin Han