Khun Clai Free
The people in Kay Lyar village tract, eastern part of Hpruso Township, are beginning to face water scarcity. People in mountainous areas who depend on spring water have to struggle to find water on a daily basis.
This year, the problem of water scarcity is even before the summer.
Although the worst times for water scarcity are used to at March and May, this year the spring water have started to dry up since December.
Daw Htwar Meh, a villager of Law Ku Khu, Kay Lyar village tract, said they are beginning to experience water shortages this year.
“In a year or two years ago, we stay have water to use like this season. It (the water level) has risen even higher. For now, it is getting low. In the next two, three months, it will be all over probably.”
The stored water, usually stored up from spring water, are running low as the spring water around the village have dwindled.
As a result, some villagers in Law Ku Khu village, which has a population of nearly 100 houses and more than 500 people, have to travel as far as Hpruso, a town about three miles away from their village, to get drinking water.
The village-owned pond is too far from the village, so it takes about 30 minutes to fetch water, said Khu Kaw Reh, a resident of Law Ku Khu village.
“When it comes to water, we have to go far to fetch it. Those who have motorcycles fetch the water with their motorcycles. Those who do not have motorcycles, they fetch it with themselves. Some girls go with their buckets. But some with their (bamboo) baskets. As for us, boys, if we don’t have a motorbike, we go with this yellow bucket.”
Law Lyar Khu village, one of the most water-scarce villages in Kay Lyar village tract, also do not have enough water in their village ponds.
“In previous one-two years, we usually store water in the summer, and we could use that stored water once or twice a week, that much. In this year, however, it is not enough even for once. This year is even worse,” said Khu Ti Reh, the village administrator of Law Lyar Khu Village.
In their village, the ACF, the international NGO, has built 10 ponds, both large and small ponds, to store rainwater and spring water; however, now there are only ponds with no water.
The entire Law Ku Khu village is dependent on the same source of spring water, with no other water resources.
“It doesn’t come out that much, it came out a little bit. It is stored into pond. In previous year, it was full till winter, like this month. This year, there is none at all,” said U Wi Reh.
About 30 households with nearly 200 people from the village of Law Ku Khu are being concerned how to cope with the water crisis.
At present, the remaining water in the pond is distributed according to the quota system set by the village according to the household standard, but there is a risk of drought in the summer.
When they return from work on the farm, they are unable to take a shower and have to use water sparingly.
“There is no water when cooking. You need water when cooking. And you need for washing. You have to use it sparingly for washing. As for vegetables, now we have to eat only dried ration as there is no water. Even though we want to consume raw vegetables, there is no water for home farming. If you want to grow vegetables in a house yard, you have to grow it with the water used for washing body; we water it with that used water.” said Ma Ti Moe, a villager of Law Lyar Khu.
In Law Ku Khu village, there is still not much to worry about as there is still a pond in the valley below the village for washing and bathing, but there could be a shortage of drinking water in the coming months. Thus, they are worrying how to manage it.
Although they tried to irrigate drinking water with water channel from the lake to the village, it was unsuccessful.
U Day Phe, the village administrator of Law Ku Khu, said, “Regarding to irrigating drinking water from water channel, we tried our own. We do it voluntarily. But it did not work.
Because our pipe was made of glue, and it exploded before the water was not able to reach on top of the mount. Like that. It might be because of the unsystematic technique.
At one point, the Department of Rural Development tried irrigating water with pipe but failed as before.
However, local people are hoping for help to get enough drinking water for their families to overcome this drought.
“If they can deliver with car as before in the summer, I think that would be enough if each household share little by little,” said Daw Htwar Meh from Law Ku Khu village.
The village of Law Lyar Khu, which is no longer in a position to withstand even before the summer, is waiting for water assistance.
A villager of Law Lyar Khu, Ma Ti Moe, said, “There is no water like this time. As the water is scarce, there are some people donating water, or pool, like this pool. But there is no water. In that case, I wonder whether they can donate water when needed or whether they can irrigate water with pipe to the village. I want to request it.”
The water scarcity this year is causing earlier than previous years in those regions, and currently those local people are withstanding those difficulties as possible as they can.