Roadmap for solid interventions to counter heavy monsoon rains in Yangon, Myanmar
The Yangon region in Myanmar is in need of a water management policy that leads to pragmatic solutions for the region’s big water challenges, such as floods caused by extreme monsoon rains. A roadmap that leads to such solutions was high on the agenda of a workshop held on 23 July that was attended by Yangon region ministers, Yangon city mayor and committee members and water experts from the Netherlands.
Setting the agenda of the workshop, Yangon region chief minister U Phyo Min Thein underpinned the need to manage water systematically and provide access to clean water. ‘It is important to create a situation where clean water is systematically stored and then distributed to the public in summer times’, he said.
The Yangon region minister noted that flooding during the monsoon season is a serious issue as the drainage is in poor condition. ‘Water resources, drainage and wastewater need to be managed systematically and efficiently to mitigate flooding and water supply issues – including ground water extraction’, he said. ‘The outcome of this workshop will support the establishment of such a water policy for Yangon’.
Additionally the workshop served to discuss the collaboration between the Urban Water Logistics for a Greater Yangon (UWLY) coalition, Dutch water and maritime companies and local stakeholders.
The three tracks of bilateral collaboration at the workshop were:
- development of technical guidelines for vessel collision risk prevention on the Yangon river
- maintenance dredging in Yangon river
- stakeholder participation in Yangon’s water supply policy
A dialogue on a solid Yangon water policy had been request by the Yangon Region Government that aims to establish a region wide water resources management. The authority wants to establish a strong alignment and commitment as moving towards installation of practical interventions.
This goal links with the urban water track of UWLY coalition program, helping to establish a firm roadmap that includes the water policy in related development projects, such as the development of Yangon's port and waterways.
In his closing remarks Dutch deputy ambassador Huub Buise mentioned the importance of broadening the regional water policy. ‘Water policy will not workout stand alone, it needs to be linked with other policies for regional development activities’, he said.
About UWLY coalition
The Urban Water Logistics Yangon (UWLY) coalition is led by The Water Agency and includes landscape architect firm Bosch Slabbers, coastal engineering firm CDR International, heritage restoration organization Doh Eain, dredging firm Van Oord and consultancy firms Resilience, Royal HaskoningDHV and Witteveen+Bos. Additional expertise is provided by knowledge partners Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Delft university of technology, Port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam water utility Waternet.
The coalition is supported by the Dutch government as part of the Partners for International Business (PIB) program. Together with other development partners, the Netherlands has been working to support Myanmar towards sustainable and inclusive development.