Water Delights Us!

Description

Members of the Ka Htaung Ni water committee are delighted to have water year round in their village in Myanmar.

Once villagers had to rely on pond water, which dried up for three or four months each year. Now, World Vision has provided another pond and an overhead tank in order to distribute water directly to homes.

Ka Htaung Ni is a village in southern Myanmar where people faced water scarcity every year during the summer months.

The village is located in Launglon Township, part of the coastal region in southern Myanmar. Most villagers are farmers.

Water is plenty during the rainy season; however, difficulty arrives every year when the rain stops.

Because this is a coastal area, it’s not possible to dig or drill wells because of the low water table making the underground water salty and smelly.

The villagers rely on a storage pond, which fills with rainwater during the rainy season.

“When the rain stops, we all came to get water from the big pond. Children also help fetch water. There was no fence before. Some women and girls brought their clothes and washed it at the bank of the pond,” says U Hla Aung, a member of the water committee.

“I remember a four-year-old boy drowned in the pond. He was playing on the bank while his sister was washing clothes, then, he accidentally fell in. Not long after, another 8-year-old boy also drowned while fetching water. It was back over 10 years ago now,” U Hla Aung recalls.

Rainwater stored in the pond lasts only for three to four months in the dry season which is from November to May – seven months long. During the summer, the villagers need to buy water from the nearest village, which is two miles away, for everyday use and for drinking.

“It was a hard time for us. We could not grow plants, as we did not have enough water to use. We spent a lot of time getting water. I remember, we once got diarrhea in the village four years ago,” U Sein Than, a community based group leader, shares.

In early 2014, World Vision dug another water storage pond for the village. The pond was fenced to keep keep children safe and animals out.

World Vision also constructed an overhead tank near the pond, which pumped water from the pond into the tank.

The overhead tank is connected with three main pipes, which carry water to every household. A water meter was also installed to measure the amount of water used by each household, so that money is collected accurately.

One community member is assigned to managing the pumping and distributing the water.

“The water-fee collections allow us to pay for the fees of the Early Childhood Care & Development teacher and the staff who look after the water distribution system.”

“Now that the water is easy to access, children have more time to play and study,” counting the benefits, U San Yu, the Head of the Village shares.

The collaboration of World Vision and the community marks a milestone for the community.

The village still needed to address water scarcity for the remaining two months as the two ponds run dry by the end of March. The committee has arranged to connect a long pipe from the nearest village to address this issue.

Photo©2015 Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision

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