Rampant deforestation has damaged the environment and led to flooding in eastern Shan State. According to locals, the floods, caused by heavy rains, have destroyed farms, roads and bridges in Mong Yawng and Mong Hpyak townships.
Last Saturday, a 150-foot iron bridge collapsed in Shay Khin in Mong Yawng Township, paralysing traffic in the area. Local residents are trying to build a makeshift bridge until a new bridge can be constructed.
According to another anonymous source, the Nam Phet River in Mong Hpyak Township has flooded 20 acres of rice fields belonging to 7 rice farmers in Nam Pan village due to heavy rainfall.
“Deforestation is the reason for the floods in Shan State. People don’t replant the trees that have been cut down and the rain flows directly into the rivers, causing flooding,” said a person with Shan State Environmental Conservation. To prevent this, he urged people to plant more trees in the townships.
Extraction of coal, gold and other minerals has also devastated the environment in eastern Shan State.