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Quake survivors 'low on water'

Health problems on the rise as reliable supplies to drink dry up

Quake survivors 'low on water'
Karuna Kengtung staff and the villagers try to get water from the hill down to the villages with plastic pipes reporter, Thiri

April 20, 2011

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Earthquake survivors from Shan State, Myanmar are struggling to find drinking water as most of the supply systems were damaged, says Father Stephen Arno, Karuna Kengtung Social Service and local villagers.

“We are trying our best to distribute drinking water from village to village in our target areas, but we may not supply all the time as we have other priorities for reconstruction and the rehabilitation,” said Father Ano, whose team is struggling to repair the water system.

U Yoshu, 45, a Baptist from the village of Lasale said that the earthquake destroyed water supply systems in his village. "We are facing water problems both for drinking water and general use, for human, animals and plants."

Karuna and World Vision are distributing drinking water for the villagers but supplies are rationed. "I’m not sure how long can they supply for us," U Yoshu said.

Other health problems have emerged largely due to the uncertain supplies of clean water with some villagers suffering diarrhea and skin problems, he said.

Shamwela 23, a Baptist volunteer doctor who is helping the Karuna, leads the mobile clinic team that has visited about 10 villages. He treated about 1,500 villagers mostly for skin problems and diarrhea caused by dirty water.

Theresa Won Say 39, from Mong Lin parish said that most of the hill people have to rely on the springs both for drinking water and for other uses.

Claudia Win Myat, the Project Director of Karuna Kengtung Social Service said that they have to spend more to rearrange the water system for the villagers though we could find the water sources on the hill which is about three miles from the villages.

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