Water shortage causing child diarrhea in Sothel IDP camp

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Water shortages in southern Hpruso Township in Karenni state are causing an outbreak of disease and diarrhea in Sothel IDP camp, says a female volunteer school teacher from the camp.

“I feel so upset for these children in the IDP camp. They cannot take care of their personal hygiene because of the water drought in the area. It is now dry season, and there is not enough water for people to use. These IDP children are suffering from diseases and diarrhea. Some adult IDPs are also sick in the camp,” the female volunteer teacher told Kantarawaddy Times.

Water drought occurs in Hpruso Township every year during dry season. IDPs are not able to access enough water for drinking and personal use, and it is impacting the level of hygiene in the IDP camp.

“When we are going to take a shower, we need to save some water for cooking rice. This is what we are facing now in the camp,” the female volunteer teacher told Kantarawaddy Times.

According to the volunteer teacher, there is not enough water available in the school washrooms. She says this is one of the reasons that IDP children are suffering diseases and diarrhea in the Sothel IDP camp.

While there are some water sources close to the IDP camp, in the dry season the sources run dry. Other water sources are located close to a Burma army camp, so are not safe for the IDPs to access.

At present, the IDPs need to travel a far distance from the IDP camp to collect water. The increased transportation cost for transporting water is unaffordable for some IDPs.

“Even though we have a car, we do not have extra money to buy fuel for the car. It is so difficult for us. Therefore, we are rotating the responsibility to bring water. This water issue is a big challenge for us. We do not have enough water,” a member of the Sothel IDP camp committee told Kantarawaddy Times.

IDPs who are unable to travel to collect water, need to buy water at a cost of 500 Kyat per 10 liters.

“It’s a water drought in dry season. If we do not have water, we have to buy water for 500 Kya per 10 liters,” a female IDP, who is pregnant and lives in Sothel IDP camp, told Kantarawaddy Times.

There are four large IDP camps in eastern Hpruso Township. About 3,000 IDPs are living in these four IDP camps.

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