Mayor Says Yangon Lacks Funds for Flood Works, Awaits $125m Loan

Yangon is unable to implement large-scale flood mitigation strategies due to a lack of funds, and heavy downpours during the monsoon season are causing havoc for the city’s nearly 5 million people.

The Yangon City Development Committee said that flood mitigation work would start as soon as they get a US$125 million (K169.3 billion) loan from the World Bank.

Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe said Sunday’s heavy rain caused heavy flooding across the city.

“The situation was so bad that even we at the YCDC were ready to deploy receptacles to collect water,” he told The Myanmar Times.

He said Yangon didn’t have a problem with normal rainfall, because the YCDC had repaired drains and cleared out rubbish before the monsoon started, but four inches of rain fell within two hours on Sunday, causing problems for people across the city.

“Yangon City can handle up to six inches of rain a day, but Sunday’s rainfall was very heavy, exceeding four inches in two hours, so we need to prepare for that kind of rainfall in the future. We need to build water tanks and bigger and larger drains,” he said.

He added that there were many water tanks across Yangon in the past but most of them have been lost.

Also, the city’s drains were built during colonial times and designed for 60,000 people. However, the population has increased to 6 million and the number of high-rise buildings is increasing.

“When we get money from the World Bank, we will start to repair the tanks and drains. But we have to think of sustainability, because the city population could reach 10 million in the future, so we have to upgrade the drains,” U Maung Maung Soe said.

The Yangon parliament has already approved a loan from the World Bank to tackle flooding, but the money has not yet arrived.

“Sunday’s flooding was partly due to garbage blocking the drains, even though the government agency has been collecting the trash,” he said.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times

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