Water Shortages Worsen in Falam due to Military Constructions
29 May 2012: The situation of water scarcity has become worse in Falam of Chin State after consumption of a large volume of water for the ongoing construction projects of the military base in the northwestern town.
Burma Army soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion No. 266 based on Vankau Hill in Falam town have been accused of unfairly diverting water from the main pipeline that provides for the people in the hill town of Chin State.
About 70 households in Ciinmual together with the Nursing Training School, the Falam Hospital, the Zomi Theological College as well as High School No. 2 have been most affected by the military constructions, according to a local quoted as saying by the Chin World Media.
Parts of the aggravating water problems are also associated with high temperatures during the dry season and a corrupt management of the local municipal department in charge of water supplies.
And the ‘decaying’ water supply system still in use without proper maintenance has been described as a source of water problems facing the Chin locals in Burma’s poorest state.
“These days, the people don’t get water from the pipeline even once a week any more. The water would run only for about an hour even when it is made available. Then, the soldiers would take control of it again,” said the Chin local.
Members of the local Municipal Department have also been accused of re-routing water from the community-shared storage into families who could afford to pay more money.
Some Falam locals are said to have fetched buckets of water by cars or scooters from a stream or pond about 2 miles away from the town.
Last month, people in Hakha town were collected money by the Township Admin Office on the direct order of the government of Chin State for celebrating the Burmese New Year Water Festival amid acute water shortages.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang