|STATE & DIVISION
Location : Rakhine State is situated in the
westernmost part of the nation. Bordering Chin State in the north and Magway
Division, Bago Division and Ayeyawady Division in the east and facing Bay of
Bengal in the west, it is located between latitudes 17°30' north and 21°30'
north and east longitudes 92°10' east and 94°50' east. The area of the State is
Rakhine State is located in tropical monsoon region.
Temperatures never rise or fall extremely as it is a coastal region. The
average temperature of Sittway in May the hottest month of the year, is
84'F(29'C) and in January, the coldest month of the year, is 70'F(21'C).
Rakhine State gets a lot of rain annually as the north-west monsoon winds blow
from the sea almost right angle to the Yoma. Rakhine State gets rain from
storms that formed in the Bay of Bengal. Annual rainfall at Thandwe is 221
inches, Kyaukpyu 186 inches and Sittway 203 inches. Torrential rains fall and
tidal waves rise from the sea when cyclones that are formed in the Bay of
Bengal enter Rakhine State, causing property damages and flooding of salt water
in low land areas. Though the storms appear mostly in early and later periods
of rainy season, they sometimes appear in the mid rainy season.
Population, inhabitants languages and religion: State
is a sparsely populated area as its mountainous landscape is covered by thick
forests. Its population is 2,698,000 and Sittway is the most populous town in
the state. Rakhines and Banners live in valleys and on Yambye and Manaung
islands. Chins are inhabitants of mountain regions of the north. Mros, Thets,
Khamis, Dainets, Maramagyis and Kaman& live on mountain ranges in the west
and north of Sittway plain. The majority of people are Buddhists. Main
languages are Rakhine and Myanmar.
Formation of districts, townships and villages : The
total area of Rakhine State is 14,200 square-miles. The state is formed with
five districts, Which are Sittway, Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Kyaukpyu and Thandwe
districts. These districts are formed with 17 townships and 1,164
village-tracts. Sittway is the capital city of the state. Other well-known
towns are Thandwe, Kyaukpyu, Mrauk-U Kyauktaw, Punnagyun, Minbya, Taungup,
Yanbye and Gwa, Rakhine State Day falls on 15 December.
Sown acreage and produce : Rakhine State has a
cultivated area of over one million acres including over 850,000 acres of paddy
farm, nearly 20,000 acres of other crops. 15,000 acres of silted-land
cultivated areas, 36,000 acres of garden farms, over 12,000 acres of hill-side
cultivation and 13,000 of nipa palm trees. Eighty-five per cent of total sown
acreage is paddy fields. Over 860,000 acres are put under monsoon paddy in the
state yearly. Annual yield of monsoon paddy is 48 million baskets. Summer paddy
is cultivated on over 15,000 acres yearly. Mastard, groundnut, onion, chilli
and beans and pulses are also cultivated in the state.
The main crop of Sittway plain is paddy. Other crops
such as mustard, sesame, chili, sugarcane, onion, potato, corn, areca nut,
betel leaf, tobacco and vegetables are also cultivated in the region. Rubber is
grown in Thandwe and Gwa townships.
Coconut farms can be seen along the coastal areas and nipa
palm plantations along the banks of creeks and rivers. Some people of the
coastal areas conduct both fishing and agriculture. A kind of small fish called
by locals "Nganidu"is the significant product of Rakhine State.
Other products : There are fishing stations in Sittway and Kyaukpyu
townships, using modern trawlers in catching prawns and fish at sea. Most of
the catch (fish and prawns) is transported to Yangon. Some of the catch is
exported. Cold storages are located at Tattaung near the mouth of Ann Creek.
Kyaukpyu has a Fisheries Training School. The State-owned pearl culture station
is situated on Apawye Island near Thandwe. Sun-dried salt and refined salt is
produced along the coast. Wood products such as timber, bamboo and fuel wood
are extracted from forest. Small amount of crude oil is produced from shallow
wells on Yanbye. Manaung, Ye, Phayonga and Mozi islands. Alabaster is mined at
Naypu Hill near Taungup Township.
Traditions, culture and festivals : Rakhine
State Day falls on 15 December. Buddha pujaniyas of Hsandawshin Pagoda on West
Phayonga Island, Shitthaung Pagoda in MraukU and Bhudawmaw Pagoda are famous in
the state. Rice Pounding Festival which is observed at the end of Buddhist
Lent. Carriage Festival which is held in Tabodwe, Boat Festival which is held
in Tagu and Kyin (Wrestling) Festival are traditional Rakhine festivals.
Historical sites and interesting places: Located
between Kaladan and Lemyo rivers, MraukU an ancient royal town, is rich in
interesting historical sites such as pagodas and other cultural edifices and
antiques. Moreover, the ancient cities Danyawady and Vassali are located in the
state. Ngapali and Kanthaya are beautiful beach resorts.
Radio and TV retransmission stations and microwave stations : A 10-
kilowatt TV retransmission station is located in Sittway Township; seven
stations in other townships. There are six microwave stations in Rakhine State.