It is reported that natural streams have dried up this year, and locals are having difficulties with the insufficient of drinking water in Mong Nai township, Southern Shan State.
“Most of the residents here are relying on the natural streams and rivers for water. They are all dried this summer. As a result, locals do not have enough water to use. We have been relying on those streams for both drinking and general uses, but the water we use for warming is different though,” a woman who lives in Mong Nai told SHAN.
The dried streams could be linked to the coal mining projects in the areas and the lack of maintaining the streams’ ecosystems.
“The coal mining could be the cause of the dried streams. The coal mining projects are not located in Mong Nai though, they are mined somewhere between Mong Nai and Mawk Mai. The mining from those areas could affect the underground water sources. Additionally, locals are not cleaning up the streams, so bushes and mud are piling up,” a Mong Nai resident explained the situation to SHAN.
Mong Nai residents are using Nar Khar stream for farming and Nong U Yin stream for drinking water and general uses.
Due to those dried streams, natives have to buy water for drinking and general uses, which could have an impact on their overall livelihood in the long run. Also, the current political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have reduced the overall income of the people.
“So, we now have to buy water for our daily usages. One truck of water costs 3,500 (Approximately US$2). Even though it sounds cheap, it means a lot in time of crisis and difficulties like this. We do not have regular income like in the past now, this is another worry. We do not have to think much like this in the past,” the above housewife told SHAN.
There has been no such drought in the past, this problem started to occur since last two years ago.
Moreover, some companies attempted to conduct coal mining projects in Nam Hu village, Mong Nai township in the past.