Land erosion: GOM climate refugees

Sar Phyu Su, once a village of roughly 2772 acres is now a little more than a dot on the map—if it’s even on the map. In ten years, the water’s edge has shifted west, eroding agricultural and pastoral lands, leaving the population with barely 100 acres. All but one building has washed away, says U Soe Aung, a farmer-turned-fisher living in Sar Phyu Su village in Bago Region. With infrastructure gone, so too are most of the villagers, including Soe Aung and his family. Forced to relocate, he and his family are living in Ma Mauk, a small village in Kawa Township.

“Before erosion, if family is farmer, then it’s good. Then we had to change livelihood and go from farmer to fisher. But it’s very difficult to live on fishing,” explains Soe Aung. With limited experience, tools, and indigenous knowledge, families with agricultural backgrounds struggle to make ends meet as fishers.

“But we have no choice,” he says.

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