Farmers Face Water Shortage During Monsoon Paddy Cultivation

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Soe Htike Aung

The paddy farmers are facing difficulties due to low rainfall in this monsoon.

U Ree Reh said they do not have water for planting the paddy seedlings although their seedlings are ready.

“The seedling has been planted for more than a month, and now we have no water. So, I think we could not grow and make our living by it,” he said.

Moebyey dam and Ngwe Taung dam are the main sources of water for paddy cultivation, and there are difficulties to access to irrigation water from it due to the low rainfall this year.

Hla Maung, a farmer from Peking Kaw Khu Village, Loikaw Township, said
“In last year, the rain was not that low, or it is even higher than usual year. We would like to raise the question why we get less water for this monsoon paddy, why we don’t have enough water, something like that.”

Despite previous droughts in the past, farmers say they have had enough water for agriculture, and this year there are more droughts harder than in previous years.

“Currently, the water level is only about 5 inches above the Moebyey dam water irrigation mark, it becomes the lowest level in these 20 years. We have to irrigate water for monsoon paddy less than half of the normal supply. Irrigation has been set up to provide through water circulation system in order to eliminate the water wastage.” said U Bosco, the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

U Bosco said that Ngwe Taung Dam would be irrigated through a water circulation system if the farmers from Deemawso Township have paddy seedlings and request for irrigation water.

Daw Rosy, who lives in Htee Dee Ku village in Moso Village-tract and still could not cultivate paddy in her farm with 2 and half acres wide, said the paddy farmers from Hpruso Township, who depend on water sources, are also facing difficulties due to low water supply.

“Some could access water. But, some couldn’t. The one who could access water first block and irrigate water into their farms. So, the rest could not access anymore. Only some who access late can access the water. But some got nothing.” she said.

At present, the water level in the Moebyey Dam is only about 5 inches above the water irrigation level, which is the lowest water level in the last 20 years. Since there are about only 4.4 feet of water remaining in the Ngwe Taung Dam, it is also the second lowest in the last 20 years.

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