28,000 flood victims in Magway face shortage of drinking water

Aung Thu Nyein
Floods hit Htonmagyi village after the Ayeyawady River swells.

About 28,000 flood victims in Magway Region face drinking water shortages after water levels in the Chindwin and Ayeyawady rivers rose earlier this month, the regional Department of Relief and Resettlement has announced.

"Due to rising water levels of the Chindwin and Ayeyawady rivers since early this month, local people in both urban and rural areas are facing drinking water shortages," said Phyu Thwe Thwe Aung, deputy director from the Region Relief and Resettlement Department.

In Pakoku Township, the water level remained above its danger level as of the afternoon of July 18, while water levels in other towns are within a meter of their danger levels, according to a press release issued by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology yesterday.

About 130 schools have been closed in the region, said an official from the Magway Region Education Officer's Office. Moreover, many plantations on both sides of each of the rivers were destroyed by floods, and domesticated animals have been moved to higher elevation for about 10 days, while elderly people and children are taking shelter in monasteries and religious buildings.

"River water cannot be drunk. We have to go to other villages to fetch water from artisan wells. Some people have moved to higher areas. Elderly people have to be moved," said Soe Thu from Neikbankyun village in Minbu Township.

Soe Win from Thanatbinsu village said: "People, cattle and other domesticated animals are all in trouble. We still have to drink river water. There is no other water to drink.”

The Magway Region Department of Relief and Resettlement is providing K2,100 to each flood victim to buy rice, while the Health Department is distributing water purification materials. Families in the Minbu Township Police Force distributed instant noodles and bottled water on July 18.

"We started providing relief supplies to the flood victims on July 13. The number of flood victims increased until July 18. We do not know the exact number of households and villages. But we got the number of affected people from general administration offices. Up to the evening of July 17, there were 27,752," Phyu Thwe Thwe Aung told the Daily Eleven.

Translated by ST