ICSFDC News Alerts

Myanmar: Villages eaten by the tide on the Gulf of Mottama by KONRAD STAEHELIN February 07,2020   |  Source: Frontier Myanmar

For more than a century, a monastery built of rendered brick stood in the centre of Ta Dar U village, about 50 kilometres southeast of Bago. Today, the foundations and parts of the wall are all that remain. Gone, too, are the more than 1,000 people who once lived in Ta Dar U. When they left 18 months ago, they took all they could with them. Every house built of wood was disassembled, and almost all of the monastery was dismantled too.

But they left behind three small and one large Buddha images inside the remains of the monastery in the hope that they would provide spiritual protection from the threat posed by the changing course of the nearby Sittaung River. When Ta Dar U’s residents abandoned the land that had sustained the village for generations, the Sittaung still flowed a few kilometres east of their homes. Erosion though was rapidly devouring the farmland that functioned as a buffer between the river and the village. The foundations of the few brick homes in the village have mostly been swallowed. The remains of the monastery will likely be next – the river already flows right next to it.

‘Nowhere quite as muddy in the world’

Ta Dar U sits on a floodplain close to the mouth of Sittaung, where the river empties into the Gulf of Mottama. The sinuous loops

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