Without Rain, Mon State Water Sources Will Dry Up, Locals Say

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

If there is no rain in Mon State in the next two weeks, existing wells and reservoir sites will be completely dry, locals and water distributors told NMG.

The state has been facing water scarcity since early March, but Kyaikmayaw Township parliamentarian Min Aung Mon said the situation significantly worsened in early May.

“I can say that the situation is getting worse this week. There is little water in wells. Some wells are completely dried out. If rain doesn’t come this month, the water shortage grow even worse,” Min Aung Mon said.

The shortage is affecting villages in all 10 townships of Mon State, but Mawlamyine, Kyaikmayaw, Chaungzon and Paung have been worst hit, locals said.

Shwe Nat Taung and Kin Pun Chong reservoirs, which provide water to wards in Mawlamyine town, are among the sources that are dwindling. On May 7, the township’s municipal department asked residents to conserve water and announced they would be able to distribute water for another two weeks.

“The water shortage this year is worse than previous years. We cannot take water from ponds this year. We were able to take water from ponds last year,” Bo Bo Win, who works with the Bo Bo Win Volunteer Team, told NMG.

People in Paung say they are now completely dependent on water donations from outside.

“Paung Township started facing a water shortage in the first week of March. The Mon State government and other donors have provided drinking water to people living in Paung. People are struggling to get water this week. When the weather is hot, water wells dry out,” state MP for Paung Township Zaw Zaw Htoo explained.

Municipal, rural development, and firefighting departments are proving water to affected villages, along with civil society organizations, political parties and private donors.

However, they have been unable to reach everyone, with some locals reporting that they’ve had to buy water because donors have not come to their communities.

Mon State typically faces a water shortage every year in the hot, dry season. The state government spent 1.1 billion kyat (US$778,000) in the 2018-2019 fiscal year in an attempt to address the water supply problem, but it continues to deteriorate and remain unresolved.