Rihkhawdar Elders Demand Electricity, Clean Water from Govt

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During a visit from State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this week, community members from Rihkhawdar town in Falam Township said they needed to have better access to electricity and drinking water.

The State Counsellor arrived in Rihkhawdar on January 20 as part of her visit to Chin State, and met with elders in the town. She was welcomed by dancing youth, and donated 100 bags of rice and 100 viss of cooking oil. The meeting she held there was not open to the public.

Chunt Lianna, the administrator of Rihkhawdar’s Ward 1, said that Daw AungSan Suu Kyi did not respond to the elders’ requests in the meeting.

“She didn’t say anything about our demands. She also didn’t say anything about local development,” Chunt Lianna told Khonumthung News.

Elders said that their top priority is for a clean water supply to be established for the town, likely through a pipeline. Currently, drinking water must be carried from the Vomtuidawn water source, which is around 20 miles from Rihkhawdar. A pipeline to the area would cost an estimated 450 million kyat (US$294,240).

The second priority in the town is electricity, elders said. Electricity is currently provided through the operation of a diesel-run generator for four hours per day to around 440 of Rihkhawdar’s residents. The government reportedly has a plan to distribute electricity from the national grid to Rihkhawdar by 2022. Elders in the town once called on the Burmese government to negotiate across the Indian border for the purchase and provision of electricity to Rihkhawdar.

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