Residents say the town has experienced serious flooding for each of the past three years, and that this is the earliest it has ever started.
Parts of the town of Namkham in northern Shan State were under water yesterday following one of the first downpours of this year’s rainy season.
The flooding affected parts of the town and its surrounding area, including the Namkham Myoma market and Wein Kan village, from around 1pm, local sources told SHAN.
“Wein Kan and the paddy fields are all completely flooded. It’s lucky this happened during the day and not at night, when it would be much more dangerous,” said Namkham resident Sai Khur, who spoke to SHAN on Tuesday.
The fact that flooding has started so early in the year bodes ill for the coming months, said Sai Khur. “This is just the start of the rainy season. If we get a lot more rain like this, the whole town will be flooded,” he said.
According to Sai Khur, flooding is a recurring problem in the area. Besides damaging homes and crops, it also washes out roads, making travel difficult and often very risky.
Vendors at the Namkham Myoma market also complained about the impact of routine flooding, noting that the market has been hit by high water levels every year for the past three years.
“When the rains come, some parts of the market get flooded every year,” said Sai Pan, a vendor at the Namkham Myoma market. “The floodwater is full of garbage, and we have to make sure that our goods are high enough from the ground to escape damage.”
Local people blamed the town’s municipal authorities for the unsanitary condition of the market during flooding, saying no effort is made to systematically collect garbage or to keep the canal near the market clean.
Meanwhile, the problem of rising water levels looks set to get worse. According to Sai Khur, this is the earliest he has ever seen flooding occur in Namkham.
According to longtime residents of Namkham, the increasing frequency of floods is a result of deforestation and irresponsible mining practices in Namkham Township.