Source: The Myanmar Times

Date: 12 April 2018


Over 50 villages in three townships in Southern Shan State are suffering from water shortage and appealed for urgent water provisions, according to Shan civil society organisations (CSO).

"Water shortages are growing year after year in this region. The government needs to implement a long-term plan for water supply. We ask for everyone's help on this issue," U Aung Sann, founder of the Aung San Civil Society Network told The Myanmar Times on Wednesday.

At the moment, the Aung Sann Civil Society Network is providing water to affected villages in cooperation with the other non-government organisations in the region.

Over a thousand households from 52 villages in Kalaw, Pintaya and Nyaung Shwe townhips are suffering water shortages.

The Aung Sann group has been supplying water to 23 villages out of 52 who are facing shortages, according to the people's needs and because their supply of water is limited, said U Aung Sann.

He added that government aid has been delayed and could not benefit the villages effectively.

The CSO also informed the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement about the problem and has appealed for help.

"Locals have to suffer from water shortages because water sources have disappeared in this region. Now, we are providing water to affected villages to the best of our capabilities," said U Lu Aye, head of the Taung Yoe Youth Network.

Villagers in the region affected by the drought have suffered water shortages for the past 20 days, and water from wells, pools and water tanks has evaporated due to hot weather, according to local organisations.

"They depend on the wells and reservoirs that collect rain water. When summer comes, the water starts to dry up and the people have no water," said U Aung Sann, noting that since last year drought has affected the state.

Since February last year, over a hundred villages in the region suffered water shortages, a local CSO said.

Taung Yoe Youth Network and other NGOs have been digging wells, running water from streams, and providing water tanks for 62 villages, thanks to aid from donors, said U Aung Sann.

CSOs are supplying and distributing water to the villages by trucks with donor aid.

They said that more help is needed. CSOs need more trucks, gasoline and water pumps as well as water containers so they can reach out to more affected villages.

Similar water shortages affect other regions of Myanmar, such as Mandalay, in the first few months of each year as temperatures rise, water consumption increases, wells dry up and groundwater evaporates.