There is much we can do together…

Water pond that has been dug deeper and expanded with overspill systems and water ways. Ready for the rain. Dry Zone  Myanmar.

Ywar Tan Shae village water pond that has been dug deeper and expanded with overspill systems and water ways. Ready for the rain. Dry Zone Myanmar.

Climate Change, yes it is. Yet there is much that we can do to support the people who are at the knifes edge of this.

A well for a small number of households costs US $ 300. A massive reservoir pond US $7500. The people happy to give the back breaking labour in the brutal heat and what limited money they have for these projects. But they need partners. Because the scale of this is too big for one small community on its own.

The NGO’s are able to get the money to the people and the strategic skills and planning processes to manifest these big engineering projects. I have been really impressed by the bottom-up planning by the villagers alongside Action aid Myanmar. The village book is a comprehensive document that shows the needs, the resources and the vision for the community. When the money comes the projects seem to happen efficiently and quickly…

The people have lived 2oo to 400 years in the dry zone and they have the knowledge for facing this territory. They understand each other and know the values of cooperation and unity. Yet this territory has changed.

The rain system has changed, the trees are dying and the river beds are empty. The wells have to be dug deeper. When the rain comes it is too heavy for the land.

Like us all they want the best for their children and community. They want their children to go to school, they want to be able to take their people to the doctor and most of all they need water.

They are working to develop ways of storing the flood water when it comes.

They are managing water that has changed from sweet to salty.

They are changing their crops and numbers of animals according to the lack of water.

They are conserving water.

They are migrating to other countries to seek work.

They are filtering and boiling their water to try and not get sick.

They are separating the animal and human access from the water ponds.

They are replanting trees and but at a slower rate than the coconut and tutty trees are dying.

They are watching new plants that they have never seen before growing on their land.

The men, women and children are spending the 4 hours a day gathering water and waiting whilst everyone takes a turn at the well…before school…

They are brave as they recall the rivers and streams and forests of 43 years ago; and the acres of sand and empty water ways now. Some but not all will refill when the monsoon comes.

But it is late again… It is often late…

They are saving money and putting what little they have into community projects.

They know what they need. They need pipelines to bring the water to their homes. They know that electricity will help. They know that the roads will be useless after just a few days of rain once it comes. The much needed rain will bring more problems.

They give easily to each other without counting the cost or expecting in return. They need partner donors who can do the same. The engineers are amazing here. They achieve much on so little. Nothing is taken for granted and nothing is wasted.

Water tank construction. Shared partnership village and Actionaid and ADRA.

Soe Taw village water tank construction. Shared partnership village and Actionaid and ADRA.

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