Thursday, 21 November 2019

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60 villages in Pegu face water crisis

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – More than 60 villages in Pegu Division are facing severe water shortages after record high temperatures across Burma have accelerated evaporation of ponds and reservoirs, relief workers and water distributors say.  

face-water-crisis1Weather officials blamed a late monsoon and higher than average temperatures for the shortages, as the conditions increase the rate of water evaporation.  

The ponds and reservoirs in Pegu (Bago) Township, 50 miles (80 kilometres) from Rangoon, and the neighbouring townships of Waw, Thanatpin, Kawa and Daik Oo, have been dry since the end of last month, spurring private donors and well-wishers to donate water secured from communities nearby.  

The businessmen bought water from bottled drinking water plants and had been distributing it to the affected villages since May 2, the water distributors said. 

About 40 trucks were daily carrying water donated from tube-well owners and drinking-water reservoirs in Pegu City to the affected villages, they said.  

“The weather is too hot and has caused wells, ponds and creeks to dry up and the ground to crack,” Ne Win, a member of one of the water-distribution teams, said.  

“The number of donors in our town and the number of water bottles we can donate is not enough to fulfil the needs of these villages,” he added. “Many villages are affected so the government is also needed to provide assistance to them. This water shortage crisis can be resolved only if the government itself becomes deeply involved deeply in this water distribution work.” 

face-water-crisis2Even though water donors are ready to act, more than 35 villages have not yet received water because of a shortage of tanker trucks and poor road connections to these areas, sources said.  

The drinking water bottlers are selling their 20-litre bottles to donors at the concession rate of 200 Kyats (20 US cents) each. The normal price is 300 Kyats. 

“This is the most severe water-shortage crisis in Pegu Division … These villages usually use water from monsoon water storage ponds for their daily needs. Now these ponds and reservoirs are dried up in extreme hot weather,” said Aye Myint, a member of the social activist group in Pegu, Lanpyakye (guiding star).


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