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Evaluating a second tube well

The village of Poe Laung Chaung Pyar is where one of the new tube wells is going to be built. From Bogalay it takes 1.5 hours to get there by boat. The first question that needs to be adressed when constructing a new tube weil is the location. Often the local monastery will provide land for such purposes and ideally the well should be located centrally. In this case however, the land around the monastery was not suitable for drilling a tube well because of the many rocks.

A meeting was held at the house of the village head and one of the families of Poe Laung Chaung Pyar agreed to provide the land for the village tube well. The family used to be quite whealthy before the storm ravaged the delta area but lost most of its whealth through the storm. Even though they lost nearly all of their belongings, their "saydanar" (goodwill) is still strong enough to provide land for a tube well that will supply the whole village with fresh water.

Poe Laung Chaung Pyar used to be a whealthy village with its inhabitants farming the fertile lands and fishing fresh water shrimps and crabs. It was made up of over 300 families comprising over 1200 people. The storm killed approximately 100 villagers and destroyed the livelyhoods such as fishing boats and farm animals of many others.

Like in so many other places the rice paddies and fresh water sources were inundated with salt water, destroying much of the rice harvest and contaminating the fresh water. All of the existing fresh water wells were destroyed and in the dry season after the storm many villagers suffered from diarrhea because dringking water had to be taken directly from the river. The storm also strongly affected the shrimp and crab population of the Delta rivers seriously impeding a further source of nutrition and income.

Half of the population of Poe Laung Chaung Pyar village have moved away and given up hope of rebuilding their livelihoods. But the other half of the population has decided to stay and to rebuild. It is important that the will and efforts of those who have taken up the challenge of defeating the aftermath of the storm are supported. With the construction of the tube well Saydanar is contributing to improving the situation and hopefully this will help to prevent more villagers from having to move to somewhere else to restart their lives.

2009-12-20