Residents struggle as road works destroy water pipes
03 February 2015 — The ongoing road development in Hakha, Chin State have damaged water pipes, leaving dozens of households in trouble.
Salai Tluang, from Keisih Ward, told the Chinland Guardian: “We are happy that the roads are expanded and renovated. But bulldozers destroy our water pipes and we are left without water.”
Tluang said that he had to repair the pipes on his own as he didn’t get any help or compensation for the damage from the authority.
“We, residents in the Ward, did everything from purchasing the pipes, drilling the ground to bury them, to connecting to houses,” added Tluang, a father of three young kids.
Families complained that they were not even informed about the works and that they didn’t know when they had to make preparations in advance.
They said that they had to be faced with a difficult situation as the Town Development Department did nothing to provide any assistance, let alone water.
Instead, the responsible department often imposes a threat to families that take the initiative to solve the water problems.
Tluang said that while he was recently re-connecting his water pipes, officials from the Rural Development, Town Development and Construction Departments tried to accuse him of working on the road without obtaining permission.
“I told them that the pipes were destroyed by bulldozers and they had no water. Now, you come not to help but to punish me. If you really want to do so, you can do whatever you like. But I have to solve this problem to provide water for my family,” Tluang said.
The majority of the Hakha population rely on community-based water supply.
Meanwhile, the State Development Department announced that a budget of 170 million kyats has been allocated for construction of water storage and supply to Hakha, which is scheduled for August 2015.#