Farmers in Pago (Pegu) area have lost their farmlands to floods caused by heavy rain that has devastated the area since mid July. It is estimated that over a thousand acres of farmlands affected by the floodwaters are unable to be worked on.
The heavy rain caused the Pago River to overflow its banks with water levels reaching a record high – the highest recorded in 47 years. Floodwaters have destroyed farmlands according to a local farmer who owns 30 acres at K’Ma Nat Kwin near Pago.
“Every farm in the area is destroyed. This year, we can’t afford to work our farms anymore. This year we’ve been flooded three times. Whenever there is flood, we have to repair our farms and replant crops – it’s a big investment each time. We can’t do it anymore. We don’t receive any help from anyone.”
The farmer said that there was no assistance for flood-affected farmers from the government to farmers who have lost their farmlands, crop seeds or equipment.
Daw Ye, a farmer in Mon San Pyat, said that the floods have taken everything she has.
“I have lost everything this year. It’s not just the once – it’s been many times. I tried to grow beans during the summer, I also didn’t harvest enough rice. It seems like we farmers are going to starve.”
The heavy rains in late July, caused the rivers to break their banks detroying many farms in the township of Pago, Nyaunglebin, Shwe Kyin, Tha Nat Pin, Daik Oo and Ka Wa.
Local media reports estimate that 3.3 kilometers of the Yangon-Mandalay railway line in the Pago district was under a meter of water. Local people were forced to use boats to get from place to place.
Farmers say even though floodwaters are dropping, their crops have already been destroyed and in many areas the floodwaters have made it impossible for farmers to work their lands.
Majority of residents in Pago districts earn their living from farming rice during raining season and growing beans during the summer months. According to local media reports as many as 5,000 people have been evacuated.
Many residential areas in the town were also destroyed by the record floodwaters and thousands of resident were made homeless. Residents are now taking shelter in temporary billets at monasteries, churches and schools.