Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment in the Bagan-Nyaung-U Area of Central Myanmar

  • Nilar Aung


The Bagan-Nyaung-U area is located in the dry zone of central Myanmar, which is one of the high-risk areas for drought. In the rural areas of Bagan-Nyaung-U, agriculture is one of the major economic activities, but existing climatic conditions, especially the pattern and amount of rainfall, determine the agricultural activity; in the past many years crop productivity has dropped. As a consequence, local people are getting poorer because of their low income. The economic contribution of the agriculture sector in the Bagan-Nyaung-U area has been fairly stable over time. In urban areas, some people earn a living as casual labor, which provides them with only low and irregular income. Consequently, the school dropout rate for many school-aged children is high, because they must earn income to contribute to the family survival. Because of the early dropout patterns, they get married early and consequently the fertility rate is high. Because of their low level of education, the health of the people is also poor; they do not understand how to keep fit and to protect themselves from diseases related to poverty and lack of hygiene. Community empowerment is required, the result of putting community development values into action. These values are related to learning, equality of opportunity, participation, co-operation and social justice, which are essential for upgrading the socioeconomic conditions of the people who live in the area. Community empowerment can be generated through education and economic support. This chapter presents primary data collected on income, diseases, and educational attainment levels, as well as secondary data from relevant government departments. Focus group discussions were conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the incidence and causes of poverty in central Myanmar. The chapter explores feasible ways to reduce poverty from different perspectives. Quantitative and qualitative mixed methods were applied to analyze data presented in the chapter.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilar Aung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of YangonYangonMyanmar

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