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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Water Project in Panthapyay Palaung village, Northern Shan State

Panthapyay village has population of over 500 people in 98 households with about 200 children. Moegyo (1) Primary School opened with a permanent building consisting of 3 classrooms, a teachers living quarter, toilets and a bathroom, a concrete rain water storage tank and a generator in June 2011 school year. Attendance at the school opening was about 160 students from Panthapyay village and neighboring villages. The school is run and maintained by a headmaster, four teachers and a staff member.

Clean water is necessary for health and sanitary reasons for the school and the village since water is typically obtained from far reached area at the foot of the mountain. Moegyo volunteers surveyed the area for possible water source and planned out the water project in November 2011. A natural spring water source is located at about one and a half miles away at the East of Panthapyay village. It was determined that running pipelines from the water source would be beneficial for the health and development of the school and the whole village. Fortunately, we found an individual donor for the cost of the water project. with the donated money from a Burmese family in Connecticut, Moegyo volunteers provided logistics and know-how to execute the water project and were able to provide constantly running clean water to the whole village on March 24, 2012. The school is now, has excess to running fresh water, the villagers now don't have to go miles away down to the foot of the mountain to fetch water. The water is right at the gate of their village, now they not only can wash themselves as many times as the want and their overall hygienic condition has improved tremendously.

In June 2012, Moegyo volunteers witnessed that the impact of the water project was immense; resulting in the prevention of a highly contagious  disease (cholera) spreading to the village. An outbreak of Cholera  in a Palaung village name "Phan Woe Laing", 10 miles Northeast of Phanthapyay where Moegyo (1) Primary school is located. The death toll from Cholera in the Pan Woe Laing village was over a hundred including the abbot of the monastery. The disease spread to nearby villages with many death, Phan Tha Pyay village was the least effected due mainly to the access of fresh water in the village, and thanks to Moegyo and the donor of funds for the project. Imagine if the disease spread to the village where the school is located, how it would effect the children attending the school. The news of the outbreak of cholera was heard in Yangon and it was in the newspaper, a medical team of nurses and doctors were sent to this region, and Moegyo primary school was used for the medical team to station. It was convenient for them because the school is equipped with bathroom and clean toilet facility. Before the arrival of the medical team, a hospital in the Shan village of Mongyaw 10 miles away was full of sick people, some of them had to be transported to the Provincial town of Lashio where there is a big hospital, some of them died on the way before reaching Lashio. The disease was brought under control by the end of July 2012. As volunteers of Moegyo, we all take pride in what we are doing in the Palaung village educating the children and helping to improve the villagers' health.

Please see the photos here.

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