Options for reducing sedimentation to improve the navigation

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Options for reducing sedimentation to improve the navigation

Options for reducing sedimentation to improve the navigation from Yangon to Mandalay

By Aung Kyaw Phyo

I had an opportunity to participate in the Ayeyarwady WLE Fellowship Programme (2015-2016) as delegated by my department “Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System” and found it very interesting and engaging especially the first training. Since training was given on designing a project, requiring the fellows to cooperate and collaborate with the others from different backgrounds and sectors, I gained very invaluable knowledge of Integrated Water Resources Management from them and heard their varying views and ideas, and realized how we can work together to better the River Basin.

The research I carried out in the programme was focused on the detrimental effects of sedimentation on inland water transportation in the Ayeyarwady River, the reasons behind this sedimentation, which are serious issues of the Ayeyarwady River Basin and how to tackle them, and how to upgrade the inland water transport.

Despite multipurpose utilization by its users, the Ayeyarwady’s ecosystem has been losing its balances and the whole basin is now deteriorating due to lack of the cooperation from its users of varying sectors and their emphasis on their respective sector only.  Thus, those who inhabit and depend on the basin need to take measures for systematic distribution of the basin and management to maintain the Ayeyarwaday River in the best possible condition.

The main objectives of my research is

  • to reduce that catchment erosion and bank erosion, leading to sedimentation, which is again posing threats to the inland water transport, must be prevented by reducing deforestation and that the forest coverage should be promoted as a whole,
  • to suggest in solution for maintaining the river to cooperate with other sectors, and
  • to highlight the positive outcomes from concerted efforts from the users of the Ayeyarwady River, including the users of inland water transport, ship owners, and those living in the affected area

The answer why navigation should be improved is seen in the advantages of inland water transport against land transport (other transport options) using cars and trains, both in terms of eco-friendliness, and thanks to its much lower carbon dioxide emission, and in terms of commercial benefits such as far less fuel consumption, transport fees, and higher volume of cargo at one time. Actions for better waterway maintenance are now necessary to improve navigation and to ensure safe as well as convenient transport and commuting without delays. Otherwise, inland water transport will become the last option for transport, losing its users to other options. If that happens, we will be losing our great chances for safe and environmentally friendly water transport, negatively affecting the resources of the nation as well as the public. In conclusion, in order to secure our national resources and public benefits, we must take actions to develop a better inland water transport system.


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