Drinking Water Runs Dry

For Myanmar residents living on the other side of the river from Yangon, getting enough water to drink is a challenge to which the government so far has only offered promises.

2014.05.30
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Burmese villages located on the west bank of the Yangon River, across from the city, chronically suffer from a lack of drinking water. Water is delivered by boat, here by an NGO.

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Residents across Rangoon river, opposite Kyeemyindine township, stand waiting for drinking water delivery in May 2014.

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The government claims to have allocated funds to address the problem. But it appears to rely heavily on international support. Here, workers from a non-profit distribute water to the 400 households of Chaungwine lay village of Twantay township.

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Water is stored in special containers alongside the homes.

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A senior official with the Ministry of Rural Development promised to spend the equivalent of about US$39.5 million in the coming months to alleviate water shortages throughout the country.

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A senior official with the Ministry of Rural Development promised to spend the equivalent of about US$39.5 million in the coming months to alleviate water shortages throughout the country.

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Dala county, also located across from the river from Yangon, is one of the most severely affected by water shortages. Residents said the Department of Rural Development dug three reservoirs last year but the water is not intended for drinking.

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The Government has borrowed ¥600 million from Japan to tackle the water shortage problem. Experts consider that with a dry season that lengthens every year, Myanmar is one of the countries most at risk of losing agricultural productivity due to climate change.

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Residents of Chaungwinelay village suffer from in diarrhea and are vulnerable to Dengue fever due to the dirty water surrounding their habitations.

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