July 13, 2020 – A lack of reliable drinking water has been a chronic problem for many years in Myanmar’s Wai Dauk village. In this village five hours southeast of Myanmar’s commercial capital, Yangon, 60 families source drinking water from two 60-square-foot ponds. The ponds are not reliable year-round, though. First, evaporation leads to shortages during the hot season. Second, rising sea levels in the massive river delta where Wai Dauk lies contaminate all area ponds from time to time. Deep tube wells are not a viable option either because ground water is too salty.
So, in early 2020, people in Wai Dauk proposed a 5,000-gallon concrete rainwater collection tank. The tank, suggested to be built next to a Baptist church, would provide an additional water source for everyone in the village. Together, community members sought support from the Karen Baptist Convention (KBC). And since KBC was aware of CWS water and sanitation projects, one of its members asked us for technical advice … and funding support.
Pastor Saw Thaw Tu voiced praise for the project. “Our village faces water scarcity every year. Now, we have an extra resource to decrease our problems and worry. We can also fill the tank with water from one of our hand-dug ponds when it is empty of rainwater. In the dry season, we plan to support each family with two gallons of drinking water every day. If the ponds are completely dry, but the tank is full, this means we have enough water for 41 days”.
Of course, everyone, especially mothers, was happy to note that year-round water, which is vital for good basic hygiene, especially handwashing, would also be secure with the tank.
Finally, Pastor Saw Thaw Tu thanked KBC for bringing the water scarcity issue to CWS attention. “I always like to thank God first. And now I’d like to say thank you to CWS for helping us buy bricks and mortar”. In acknowledging people who support others less fortunate than they, he concluded, “I pray for everyone to keep safe and healthy”.