Inle Lake water levels stable due to embankments

Sitha (Taunggyi)

At Maithauk Jetty of Inle Lake, the water level last year was extremely low. However, this year, the jetty area is over three feet deep and the central part of the lake as deep as seven feet, which allows motorboats to operate.

"Things are good this year. In previous years, motorboats could not run here. The water level here is at least three or four feet high. In the centre it is about seven feet high. This year there is no place in the lake where we cannot go by boat. As a result, the economy is good and so is transport. Travelling is convenient and tomato plantations are good as well," said Tun Moe from Maithauk Village.

Twelve embankments which were built in the southern part of Inle Lake have prevented the lake from drying up this year, said Dr Tun Hlaing, the regional minister for Inn ethnic affairs. "We won't see decreased water levels in the lake this year. There is much water - even around the Phaungdaw-U Pagoda. I have guaranteed this at the NLD headquarters," said the minister. However, Thein Zaw Moe, a member of parliament, said continued measures were necessary to maintain the water levels in summer, adding that maintenance tasks were being carried out on a daily basis.

The water levels of Inle Lake, one of Myanmar's tourist attractions, were relatively low from February to September last year. The lake was also severely dry in 2010 and 2015.

There are 445 villages by and around the lake, and among them are 170 floating villages. In total there are over 180,000 people who have to live on the lake and earn income from floating plantations.