Heavy rain submerged 87,000 acres. Over 14,000 acres of farmland destroyed in Mon State

August 30, 2019

HURFOM: In August, 2019, due to heavy rains throughout Mon State, 87,000 acres of farmland were submerged due to flood waters.

As of August 23, 2019, the Mon State Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation reported 14,310 acres were totally destroyed and 21,000 acres were partially destroyed.

“Kyaikmayaw Township is the worst. About 20,000 acres of farmland were submerged. Now, only 10,000 acres emerged from the water. As Kyaikmayaw is still (experiencing) floods, we can’t collect an exact number (of affected farmlands). We will (provide) farming technology … and also provide paddy seeds to those affected,” said U Aung Zaw Nyne, the Chief Officer of the Mon State Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

The table below provides a breakdown of farmland by townships that has been submerged in August of this year.

Township Acreage submerged
Kyaikmayaw 20,000
Thanbyuzayat 17,000
Paung 15,000
Mudon 10,000
Ye 2,000
Chaungzone 5,000
Mawlamyine 5400
Belin 7,800

U Htein Win, a Mae Garow resident of Kyaikmayaw Township, lost 80 acres of farmland during the flood. He said, “The government hasn’t done anything yet for rehabilitation. The farmland, now, is still submerged. The farmland will be destroyed even after the water declines. If we want to re-farm rainy-season paddy, we need 90-day short-term paddy species. We had stored that kind of paddy seeds but we have to start from zero as everything was lost in the flood.”

Despite the Mon State Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation statements indicating they will provide local farmers with paddy seeds, the department has only 500 baskets of 90-day short-term paddy seeds.  The State Department requested the Union Department to provide additional support.

“At first, we requested 500 baskets of paddy seeds (from) the Union Department. Now, we requested another 1,000 baskets. So, we can get 3,000 baskets of paddy seeds from both State and Union Departments. (But it still wasn’t enough), so we have to report to the Mon State government for the rest of the need,” said U Aung Zaw Nyne.

Local residents fear the longer term impacts of the flooding on food production. “I can’t estimate the acre(age) of farmland land destroyed by the flood. From Ye City to Kaw Hlyne village, all farmland besides the motor road were destroyed. It isn’t possible to do farming again (this year). The farmers are in a big trouble. There was no paddy production next year. Some farmers lot all of their farmland,” said a Ye resident.

In 2003 and 2009, heavy rains and flooding similarly affected farmlands in Kyaikmayaw Township. In 2018, more than 70,000 acres of farmland in Mon State were submerged and 31,657 acres were destroyed, according to the Mon State Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

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