Mudon township locals angry over lack of funds and transparency in government water supply project

February 12, 2018

HURFOM: Local residents are upset after being asked to pay for the completion of a project to supply Ka Law Taw village, Mudon township, with water from the Winphanon Dam, after the Mon State government only budgeted 50,000,000 kyat (US $37,618) for the project. Currently, only three of the 13 wards in the village are supplied with water from the Winphanon Dam and locals are refusing to pay to finish the project.

Our village has a problem due to the government. They should have told us that they could only provide water for three wards. This is the same problem as when they provided us with electricity in our village. They provided too little money and it has only created problems among our villagers. I would like to say that the government should have first met with the locals and explained that they could not fill the needs of all people [in the village] because they only had a small budget. Then locals would know whether they should or should not do it,” said Dr. Pone Wai Oo, a Ka Law Taw local.

According to locals, every year during the hot season in March and April, residents throughout Ka Law Taw village tract are faced with water shortages. Villagers who do face water shortages are still able to get water from wells in the village and sometimes water is donated from other parts of the village tract.

As for me, I don’t want them to do this water supply project because it is not good for us if we need to spend our money on that. Moreover, we may need to pay every month if we use the water. Our village does not need it as much. Mostly, we only face difficulties in getting water for two months [out of the year],” said Nai Chem Non.  

The reason they [villagers] have conflict with each other is that they have a lack of knowledge. The government never explained to the locals about their plan or what they would do. They never did what they said they would and now the locals are arguing with each other. There is no unity among the locals. There will be a lot of difficulties to develop the village if there is no unity among the villagers,” he continued.

Some Ka Law Taw residents felt that the budget provided for the project by the Mon State government should have been spent to expand the local well and pool in order to supplement the local water supply during the hot season.

However, not all villagers agree. Daw Khin Win May said, “we need to pay money to get water and we will pay it. If we don’t have money, I will borrow money from others and give it. It is important to get the water. The village is not developing if we don’t have water.”

In May 2017, the village formed a committee to discuss solutions to the water supply problem, but the committee was eventually disbanded. The current village water supply committee was formed afterwards by the local Abbot with 20 other members.

 

 

 

 

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