Water scarcity in Mon State worse and has come earlier than last year

April 24, 2020

HURFOM: Since March of this year, most villages in Mon State are experiencing water scarcities.  Conditions this summer are worse and have come earlier than last year.

We experienced water scarcity earlier this year. At this time last year, water scarcity wasn’t too much. Water well dried up only after Songkran. But this year, wells in most houses dried up in March. Nearly all villages are experiencing water scarcity. Last year we didn’t have enough drinking water but at least we had bath water. But this year all water resources have totally dried up. We can do nothing,” said Ma Nwe Ni Tun, Yaung Daw village, Mudon Township.

Young people have formed teams to help fight against water scarcity, by delivering water to households.  But they cannot provide water everyday,  so the villagers have had to buy water. 

If young people can provide water to us everyday, there is no problem. They are giving enough water for one day’s use. But they can’t provide water everyday. I have to get up early to collect water at my relative’s house,” continued Ma Nwe Ni Tun.

Water scarcity has been an annual issue in Mon State,  and groups of young people and donors have been helping by donating water to villagers.  But this year, donors were not able to go to area villages because of COVID-19.

Government orders to help contain and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 are conflicting with the Mon residents’ struggle to get water. Local people think water scarcity will be even worse in the future.

Pahe Do, a villager said, “Now only two wells in our village can produce water. But one of the well owners banned us from collecting water,  so we have only one water resource. That well is at the rubber plantation and we have to go there to collect water. But the government has ordered people not to gather together in one place, but we have to gather at the well, to collect water.” 

A Thanbyuzayat resident said,“we rely solely on underground water wells in the monastery for water resources. I don’t have a well at my house. Now, I’m thinking of digging a well next year, because water scarcity is happening every year. We’re afraid of the disease (COVID-19). We don’t want to gather together in one  place but, there are more than 10 people around the well. I’m afraid that water collectors may spread the disease.” 

Local people are demanding Village Administrators and the Mon State government find a quick solution to the water scarcity difficulties and not to prevent people from gathering together at any water collection sites.

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