Villagers in Mandalay’s Myingyan Township Protest to Keep Their Water Flowing

By Zarni Mann 11 February 2016

MANDALAY — Dozens of residents from Hsa Khar village in Mandalay Division’s Myingyan Township protested on Wednesday against the destruction of the Mya Nandar reservoir, the only source of water for the village’s residents.

Protesters said that the reservoir’s waterways have been blocked due to an ongoing land expansion project by the Myingyan municipal department, and that the village could face a water shortage in the months leading up to the dry season.

“Because they’ve bulldozed most of the ground, the flow of water leading to Mya Nandar reservoir has been stemmed and the water level has significantly dropped,” said Ye Myint, one of the Hsa Khar protesters.

According to locals, the land expansion project, supposedly for housing and farming, was started a month ago, near Myingyan Industrial Zone and Hsa Khar village.

“We’ve submitted several appeals to the department to clear the waterways, but we haven’t received any response. So now we have to protest,” said Ye Myint.

During the protest, villagers demanded a stop to the project and the creation of alternative pathways for water to reach the village.

“We don’t want the project. We just want our water back,” Ye Myint said.

The Irrawaddy attempted to contact the municipal department on Wednesday but was unable to reach anyone for comment.

“We’ve never faced a water shortage in the summer because we’ve always had the reservoir. This summer, however, we’ll face one for sure,” said Mya Ohn, another villager. “Our crops are already dying, and very soon, we could be confronted with a drought.”