Water shortage in cyclone-hit areas

Dec 31, 2008 (DVB), The parts of Burma's delta region worst hit by Cyclone Nargis in May are facing a shortage of clean water due to delays in cleaning up wells and ponds, locals said.

Local residents said there were not usually problems with the water supply until the onset of the dry season in February.

A villager from Thekkeh-saung in Hainggyi-gyun township said the water sources had been polluted by corpses and muddy salt water during the cyclone and had not yet been treated.

"It is dangerous to drink water just like that [so] people are boiling it before they drink," the villager said. But a resident of Laputta said this did not make the water safe to drink.

"Even if you boil it, it is quite salty," he said.

"Some people are suffering from diarrhoea , NGO doctors are treating them."

The Laputta resident said that non-governmental organisations were working to address the problem.

"The situation is becoming quite dire," he said.

"The [United Nations Development Programme] and other NGOs are starting to transport fresh water from upstream and redistributing it."

Reporting by Arnt Phone Myat

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