Namkham Burma

Are you curious about Namkham, Burma? Read on facts and info about Namkhan located in Shan state Burma…

The Shan State consists of many towns and one of them is Namkham Burma. Namkham is also spelt as Namhkam and is located near the Shweli River, in the Shan State. The river is situated near Burma’s border with the Yunnan Province of China.

History Of Namkham, Burma

Namkham was a backward and almost unimportant town of the Shan state until 1897. This was the year that brought a sudden change in the town’s province, as the British colonial administration of that time finally implemented its long-devised plan of a road. The road in question ran between Namkham and Bhamo, along the Ayeyarwady River of the Kachin State. The 56 miles long road was built to serve the sole purpose of boosting the involvement of Chinese muleteers and enabling them to benefit from the border trade that had been slowly but surely blooming.

While this significantly increased the importance of Namkham, Burma and made it a town recognized by people, a majority of them traders, it took another road to further its popularity in the country. It was during the Second World War that the Allied Forces decided to build the Ledo Road, which ran across the north of Burma, originating from Ledo in Assam, India and going all the way to Kunming, China. It was in 1944 that the road reached in439 miles as it reached Namkham and was linked up with the old Burma Road in Bhamo.
The extent of the importance of the West’s intervention in Namkham can be gauged from the fact that the missionary hospital overlooking Namkham was run by a certain Dr Gordon Seagrave, who is said to have been carrying out medical duties as well as intelligence ones.

Agriculture or Poppy Culture

Poppy was the main cultivation in the region from Lashio to Namkham, which led to widespread deforestation in that area. That trend never left the town, which has since been a hub of drugs. According to a survey conducted by the Shan State Peace Council in 2005, there were around 1,80p0 drug addicts in Namkham. While the community did start to make efforts to bring these numbers down, they faced problems along the way and the first rehabilitation center setup there in 1998 was closed down by authorities in 2000.

Development in Namkham

The Burmese government entered into an agreement with the Chinese government in August 2003 for the construction of a hydel power project. Another recent development project is the construction of a dam on the Shweli River near Namkham, which was aimed at supplying electricity to Kyaukme, Hsipaw, Lashio and Namtu. The project, which is named Shweli 1, once it is completed and functional, is expected to supply around 600 MW of electricity to t these villages and towns.

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