from those of the Irrawaddy by two large islands which are covered
with fuel reserves. Besides these more important channels, the District
possesses countless tidal creeks-the Uyin, Podok, Wayakaing, and
others-which convert it into a maze of muddy channels.
The geological and botanical features of Pyapon are the same as are
noticed under HANTHAWADDY DISTRICT. The soil is mainly alluvium
and the jungle vegetation is largely swamp.
The tiger and the elephant are practically confined to the uncleared
areas in the south, where there are also herds of wild buffalo, wild hog,
and hog deer. Crocodiles are not uncommon in the creeks, and turtles
abound at certain seasons of the year on the sandbanks along the
The climate, though damp and depressing, is healthy, and the
proximity of the sea renders the temperature equable. The average
minimum temperature throughout the year is about 65°, the average
maximum 95°, and the average mean about 8o'. One of the results of
the proximity of the Gulf of Martaban is that the winds are decidedly
stronger than farther inland. The country enjoys a regular and
copious rainfall, rather in excess of the mean for the delta. The
annual average is about 95 inches, decreasing towards the north in the
areas farthest removed from the coast.
The District as at present constituted is of modern creation, having
been taken in 1903 from Thongwa (now Ma-ubin) District, which itself
only dates back to 1875. Until recent times the
country was a stretch of unreclaimed jungle, the only History.
indications of an earlier civilization being in the south-west. The
village of Eya, from which the Irrawaddy takes its name, is now an
insignificant hamlet, though it must have been a place of no little
repute in bygone days. Of historical remains there are practically
none. The most ancient and revered pagoda is that known as the
T awkyat at Dedaye, and even this is supposed to be not more than
a hundred years old.
Owing to various minor alterations in the township boundaries,
exact figures for the population of the area now composing the District
are not obtainable for past years. In 1881 the whole
District formed little more than a single township of Population.
Thongwa, with a population of about 97,000. In 1891 this total had
increased to about 139,ooo, and in 19o1 to 226,443, a rate of growth
exceptional even for Burma.
The distribution according to the Census of igoi is shown in the
table on the next page.
The only towns are PYAPON, the head-quarters of the District,
KYAIKLAT, and DEDAYE. The increase in the northern part has been
normal; but in the two southern townships the growth of population