Back to news
31 Jul 2015 | News

Hope for Kyaung Taung’s water woes

1 min Read

70% Complete

The village of Kyaung Taung in the Inle Lake area in Myanmar sits atop a hill overlooking Heho city. And this hamlet with 80 households has a problem: it is plagued by severe water shortage. The woes of Kyaung Taung do not end here. The village wears a bald look, having lost all its forests.

However, these are not new stories.

Farmer U Nyein Kyaw, 57, recalls people facing severe water shortage in the village ever since he was 20 years old. “Even then people spent hours every day fetching water from Nyaung Kya pond during the dry season,” he says.

According to a village baseline report, Kyuang Taung receives one of the lowest rainfalls in the whole of southern Shan State. And the bad news is that this is declining every year.  Some farmers say the water in Nyaung Kya pond is also decreasing by the year.

Farmers attribute water scarcity in Kyaung Taung to increasing population growth and denuded forests. They say many organizations helped them find solutions but none have had lasting results.

According to U Nyein Kyaw, twenty years ago, UNDP supported the village build community tanks. Similarly, the Inle Literature, Culture and Development Association (ILCDA) with UNDP Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation Project provided water tanks and filters in 2012. Today, two new community tanks to harvest rainwater are under construction with support from the EU-funded Himalica Initiative.

It was observed that some tanks require major repairs. If old tanks are repaired and the new ones get running, Kyaung Taung probably would have solved its water problem.

However, U Nyein Kyaw says repairing old tanks and building new ones alone will not solve the problem. “We need to operate the system efficiently,” he says. “And that’s what we didn’t have in the past.”

Now that the village has a permanent water user committee formed early this year, there are hopes that Kyaung Taung will finally have effective water governance. While there is no single model of effective water governance, a system must fit environmental, cultural, social, and economic contexts of the place.

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Related Contents

Continue exploring this topic

29 Jul 2015 News
Micro-planning in Myanmar

The ‘Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Initiative’ facilitated a three-day micro-planning workshop in Kyaung Taung ...

24 Jul 2019 News
Reassessing Tsho Rolpa glacial lake

Tsho Rolpa is a large, potentially dangerous glacial lake in Nepal that has been the subject of extensive research and ...

20 Nov 2018 News
Valley Mayors Commit to Clean Valley Air

The two-hour event included experts’ briefings on the current scientific understanding of air pollution, on the possible solutions that municipalities ...

11 Dec 2014 News
Winners of ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014

ICIMOD is pleased to announce the four winners of the ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014. They are Avinash Jha ...