More than 20,000 of the 60,000-plus villages in Myanmar do not yet enjoy sufficient drinking water, according to the Rural Area Development department under the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development.

“The government is now cooperating together with international organizations and local concerned citizens, including the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, digging wells and lakes so that rain water can be collected and re-constructing old lakes in villages across the country where the drinking water can’t be sufficiently supplied,” said Myint Oo, Deputy Director-General of Rural Area Development department.

“There are more than 20,000 villages that can’t enjoy enough drinking water. That’s why we are now carrying out a project to supply sufficient drinking water and submitting a budget proposal to the government. Most of the villages face a scarcity of drinking water. In arid zones, the water can be acquired after digging a well deeply enough. But the villagers can’t dig deep wells.”
Most villages in the arid zone suffer from a drinking water shortage every summer.

Aung Zaw, who lives in Paypin Kone village in Chauk Township, Magway Region, said there has been a scarcity of water in previous years, but that the situation has improved.

“We used to have to go about a mile and a half’s distance to get the water. Then, we had to pay at least Ks 11,000 [nearly US$ 10] per barrel to enjoy it,” he said. “But last year the authorities dug wells in our village. Thanks to the government, we have been getting sufficient drinking water. There are many villages in Chauk Township, Magway Region, central Myanmar, that still do not enjoy enough drinking water. The villagers face water shortages in the summer.”

Kauk Ra, who lives in Chauk Kyar village in Taungdwin Gyi Township, Magway Region, said the community suffers from water shortages every year.

“We bought drinking water in the late summer season. The lake in our village could not store water because the lake was muddy.”