Kayah State

Location: Kayah State is situated in eastern Myanmar and bounded on the north by Shan State. on the east by Thailand and on the south and west by Kayin State. It lies approximately between 18 30' and 19 55' north latitude and between 9440' and 97 93' east longitute. The area is 4,530 sq miles.

Being a section of eastern plateau, its bed-rocks are of igneous stratified and metamorphic types. Relating with those rocks, alabaster, tin, wolfram, shellac are found. Red earth is mostly found. There are fertile paddy lands in Loikaw plains through which Balu stream flows. The highland area has the wet climate of mild-hot regions and the low-lying areas have the climate of Savanna and monsoon climate of the tropical regions. In winter, the average temperature of the highland areas is below 40F (4.4C) and that of the low lying areas is 62.6F (17C). In May, the hottest month, the average temperature is 77.4F (25C). The annual rainfall in low-lying areas is about 38.43 inches. The highland areas get more rain.

Population, inhabitants, religion and dialects:
The estimated population in 1996 had been over 240,000 and the population density is about 53 persons per sq mile.

The population density in Loikaw and Dimawhso Townships where there are vast plains, is more than 100 persons per sq mile. Mountainous townships are sparsely populated. The resident national races are Kayah, Kayan (Padaung), Paye, Yinbaw, Yinkale, Paki Kayin and small racial groups such as Manumanao, Gaykho, Gaybar etc. In addition, there are few numbers of Shan, Intha, Bamar living along Balu stream in the north. Pa-o nationals can be found on surrounding hills.

Organization of districts, townships, villages and wards: Loikaw and Bawlake districts are constituted with seven townships. There are 106 wards and village-tracts. The area of the State is 4,529.564 sq miles. The capital of the state is Loikaw.

Sown acreage and crop output:
Total agricultural lands come to 90,000 acres approximately. There are over 40,000 acres of paddy land, about 40,000 acres of farmlands and over 20,000 acres of hill-side cultivation. The majority of paddy cultivation are irrigated. Paddy is the chief crop. Other crops cultivated are millet, maize, sesame, groundnut, garlic, vegetables etc. Other products of the State are tin, wolfram and shellac - mixed metals produced by Mawchi mine. Alabaster from Sakyin hills near Loikaw and Dimawhso townships are transported to Loikaw Alabaster sheet factory for manufacturing personal goods. Valuable wood such as Teak, Pyinkadoe, Ingyin, Padauk, Thitkadoe, Thitya, Pyinma, Pine and Yinkat are produced by the forests.

Traditional and cultural festivals:
Kutobo or the flag mast festival, is the most important one among many religious festivals of the Kayah people. In accordance with traditions, the festival is held annually village by village. Kayah State Day falls on 15 January, every year.

Construction works: Alabaster sheet factory and Hydel Plant were built respectively at Loikaw and Lawpita Waterfall of Balu Stream.


Taungwe Zedi, Kayah State


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Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels