Dam leak destroys farmland

Dec 10, 2007 (DVB), An inundation of water destroyed crops and farmlands in east Bago after a lake owner dug a hole in a river dam, according to a local farmer.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation had set up an embankment on the west of Sittaung river and east of Nyaung Lay Pin township to protect the wetland farms downriver from being flooding during the rainy season, said a farmer from the Sittaung delta.

However, the owner of Thayet Chaung lake and several wetland farmers from the village dug a hole in the embankment because the lake owner wanted to enable fish to get into his lake, and the farmers wanted to grow crops on land upriver.

But the water pressure from the river soon widened the hole to about 70 feet across, flooding the lower farmlands, according to the farmer.

"The water came down and caused major flooding over farmlands in several villages in the area of Shwe Kyin township. About 40-50 million Kyat worth of crops , summer paddy and ground nuts , were destroyed along with the farms," said the farmer.

"We have to wait until the water goes down in our farms before we can seal off the embankment again."

The farmer said that those responsible for breaking open the dam had said they would cover the expense of rebuilding it.

Reporting by DVB

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