With transportation routes to Paletwa blocked by conflict, diesel prices have increased, reducing available fuel for generators providing power for the sequestered town not yet hooked up to the national power grid. Town residents used to get four hours of power a day but now get only two.
Nang Wai, from the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee for Chin IDPs, told Khonumthung News that the power shortage is very difficult for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had to flee from their villages because of fighting between the Arakan Army and Burma Army in Paletwa Township.
“A few months ago, we didn’t get electricity in Paletwa for three weeks. We had to live in the dark. Now we only receive two hours of electricity a day.”
An officer with the Electricity Distribution Department said that the power has been reduced because they need to save fuel for the hospital’s emergency ward.
Worse, the conflict is also preventing rice and food, and other essential items from reaching Paletwa. Hostilities stopped transport between Paletwa and the Sami town. And it has also blocked water vessels from transporting goods on the river from Rakhine State.
“Water and electricity are basic needs,” Ko Tayya, the field director of Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), told Khonumthung News. “People in Paletwa are not getting enough electricity because there is not enough diesel to power generators. In my opinion, the government is responsible for solving this problem.”