KA THIT KHONE VILLAGE, Pegu Division — Once a thriving farming village, Ka Thit Khone today barely resembles its former self—nearly all the agricultural lands that once surrounded its 300 households have disappeared, victim to unrelenting erosion caused by a nearby river.
Situated on the banks of the Sittaung River, the village in Pegu Division has come to know land erosion as an unwelcome annual visitor. Since the rainy season last year, four nearby villages have been reclaimed by the river. The erosion is so severe that recently about two-thirds of Ka Thit Khone residents decided to leave the village out of fear that their homes would be the next casualties.
Authorities have temporarily relocated nearly 200 displaced households to the middle of a field not far away from the river. When The Irrawaddy visited the area last week, the villagers were stranded in rickety makeshift huts, complaining that the land on which they are now staying is unfit for farming.
“We are not asking for compensation from the government. But we want safety. Take us away from the river to someplace where we could make a proper living,” one villager said.
Founded in 1993 by a group of Myanmar journalists living in exile in Thailand, The Irrawaddy is a leading source of reliable news, information, and analysis on Burma/Myanmar and the Southeast Asian region. From its inception, The Irrawaddy has been an independent news media group, unaffiliated with any political party, organization or government. We believe that media must be free and independent and we strive to preserve press freedom.