WRITER: ANUCHA CHAROENPO
In Hlaing Thar Yar township of Yangon, dirty water has been a problem for a long time. Local residents like Aung Soe Min have to buy drinking water from shops, resulting in a substantial financial burden.
"There is a dirty water problem here because we are living on the outskirts of the city. We pay 350 kyat (9 baht) for a bottle of drinking water," said Aung Soe Min, 33, a day labourer who was among 200 local residents who joined an event to mark World Water Day on March 22 at a local temple.
Thirteen provinces were hit by summer storms between March 31 and April 7, in which 296 houses were damaged and one people killed, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chalerm Promlert said on Sunday.
They were Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen and Loei in the Northeast; Phetchaburi, Saraburi, Samut Sakhon and Nonthaburi in the Central region; and Chiang Mai, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Kamphang Phet and Phayao in the North. In these provinces, 71 villages in 22 districts were affected.
Mr Chalerm said one people was killed, but gave no details.
Refugees no more, Karen residents of new homes in southeastern Myanmar hope decades-long ethnic conflict is finally near an end.
By PATHOM SANGWONGWANICH
After decades on the run from armed conflict in their ancestral lands, Myanmar nationals with Karen heritage are finally getting a taste of peace as they settle into newly built houses in the country's southeastern region. The peace is fragile, but the return of genuine smiles suggests there is hope that it will hold this time.
WRITER: WASSANA NANUAM
PHITSANULOK - Thailand will ask nearly 70,000 refugees displaced by skirmishes in Myanmar to return home, but only on a voluntary basis. Those ready to make the trip back home will be sent only gradually, 3rd Army chief Lt Gen Vijak Siribansop said Thursday.
Nay Pyi Taw has prepared areas for them and current peace talks with armed ethnic groups in Myanmar look promising, he said.
By Shamshad Akhtar
This month's floods are a worrisome reminder of the increasing uncertainty of extreme weather events. Thailand's flood season usually ends in November, but this year, influenced by a low depression area and a strong northeast monsoon, widespread flooding in the south of the country has killed more than 90 people, affected over 330,000 households, and resulted in widespread asset losses.