Narinjara News



Akyab’s troubled jetty giving trouble to the public



Akyab, September 21: The Arakan State’s capital, Akyab, saw its principal jetty destroyed by a storm four months ago.  So far the Burmese authority has done nothing to rebuild it. 

Consequently the Arakanese public is now facing severe inflation on imported goods due to a lack of docking facilities, which are costing importers both time and money.


The cargo from the sea faring trading vessels are to be off-loaded to smaller boats offshore, since the trading vessels are unable to dock at the broken jetty, a trader from Akyab says.


He also told Narinjara that, “We have to shift the cargo shipped from Rangoon into smaller boats to dock at other smaller jetties away from the main jetty and the warehouses. Smaller boats cost 300,000 kyats per day, bigger boats 500,000 kyats per day. This is in addition to increased transportation costs to our merchandise.”


The frustrated public also has to face delays in sea transport as the ferry services have almost been crippled.  The ferries are the main mode of transportation in commuting to other parts of Burma.


“We travel to Rangoon using the sea faring ships. Since half of the jetty was destroyed, we have to use smaller boats to board the ships. It is not just inconvenience; it is very dangerous in rainy and windy days. So, all we can do is pray that the authority will fix the jetty soon.” said a resident of Kyae Bonn Gree Quarter in Akyab.


The jetty was destroyed on the 19th of March 2004, when the ship, Shwe Lee capsized and brought down half of the jetty with it. The Shwe Lee was owned by the niece of General Maung Aye, the Vice Chairman of the governing State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The ship has been refloated, but the jetty is still to be fixed.


A few days after the storm the Burmese Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, other government ministers and directors of the Shwe Thann Lwin Company visited Akyab and inspected the broken jetty, but there has not been any progress in fixing it up according to an official from the Akyab Port authority.


People are curious about why the jetty has not been fixed and when it will be fixed. The British, who needed it for Akyab’s rice exports, built the jetty in 1876. The jetty has never been renovated by any Burmese government. #