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Villages in Sagaing Division’s Kalewa Township along the Chindwin River are now experiencing a shortage of clean drinking water amid floods inundating homes and sullying water sources, according to local residents.
“Our village has been inundated since 9 July and now we are experiencing a drinking-water shortage,” said one local man. “Now we have to take a boat to the middle of the river to fetch clean water.”
Adding to their woes, and raising the risk of health problems, he added that many villagers are unable to boil water because of a lack of fuel.
Local charity group Kale Plains Water Assistance Group and the police are working together to distribute clean water in the villages affected by the flooding.
“Several villages along the Chindwin have been inundated amid flooding and this is an extremely worrying situation, as it can lead to an outbreak of a fast-spreading waterborne disease,” said Police Lieutenant-Colonel Tin Zaw Tun of the the Kale District Police Department.
“We are working together with the civilian sector to provide help as much as we can,” he added.
Floods have wreaked havoc in many parts of Sagaing Division and across Burma since the annual rainy season began in early June, causing loss of life and extensive property damage.
Although it is a regular occurrence in many parts of the country, severe flooding has become more common in recent years. According to a World Bank report, Burma’s projected economic growth for last year had to be scaled back from 8.2 to 6.6 percent because of record flooding.