Thauk Ye Khat Dam floods hit 40 villages

Flooding caused by the Thauk Ye Khat hydropower project in Toungoo Township, Bago has stopped local villagers trading. The dam project finished on 13 October and has since block the waterways in the Toungoo Township area.

Padoh Saw Eh Wah, the Karen National Union chairman in the Toungoo District told Karen News that the Platwa Bridge between Bawgali and Toungoo Town has been totally swamped by flooding caused by the Thauk Ye Khat Dam.

Padoh Saw Eh Wah said this is now the second week this month that traders are unable to open.

“The dam has blocked the flow of the river and the area is swamped. Transportation can’t get through and produce from plantation such as mangosteen, durian, betel leaf and cardamom are wasted.”

Padoh Saw Eh Wah said the flooding has affected 40 villages with a population of 10,000. Traders estimate that a million-kyat a day has been lost because trading has stopped. Padoh Saw Eh Wah said dam officials failed to inform villagers of the dam closure that caused the flooding.

A Toungoo resident who asked not to be named said villagers had no information that the dam would close, blocking the waterways.

“Water cannot flow through anymore. The bridge is now completely swamped and we cannot trade.”

The Platwa Bridge is located 24-miles from eastern Toungoo and 10-miles from Thauk Ye Khat hydropower project dam.

Thauk Ye Khat dam is a part of Thauk Ye Khat hydropower project which will start to produce 40-mega-watts of electricity in November this year. According to the company’s estimates there only 56 acres of plantations or gardens that will be flooded – the company said it has paid almost two-billion-kyat compensation in September this year.

In September, as many as 200 villagers from Taungoo Township in Pegu (Pago) region protested against the Shwe Energy (Asia World) Company, villagers voiced their concerns over the negative impacts the Thauk Ye Khat Dam would have in their region.

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