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Three months after cyclone, restoration of electricity to rural Sittwe District continues
“We are working to resume power supply, and we give priority to villages not far from town. It will take time to supply power back to remote villages,”
19 Aug 2023
19 August 2023, Sittwe
The Sittwe District electricity supply office says it is working to resume electricity supply to more rural villages in Arakan State by next month after power supply was disrupted by Cyclone Mocha, which downed numerous utility poles in mid-May.
“We are working to resume power supply, and we give priority to villages not far from town. It will take time to supply power back to remote villages,” said an official of the Sittwe District electricity supply office.
Repairs to battered utility pole networks linking many villages in Rathedaung, Ponnagyun and Kyauktaw townships have not yet been finished.
“We have lost electricity since the storm,” Daw Aye Nu Phyu from Vanvee Village in Ponnagyun Township said: “We can only use solar lamps now, but then, we can’t charge them when there is no sun.”
“We have difficulties cooking with firewood. Trees that fell down in the storm are not yet dry enough to use for cooking,” said Ko Kyaw Naing Lin from Lai Kai village in Rathedaung Township.
U Maung Win from Shaukchaung village in Kyauktaw said: “We have difficulties cooking and students have difficulties reading without electricity. And mosquitoes are rampant at night. Many people got sick from mosquito bites.”
Many utility poles blew down on May 14 as the cyclone made landfall across Sittwe, Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U, Minbya, Myebon, Pauktaw, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships.
More than 1,000 electricity staff, including personnel from outside Arakan State, were dispatched to make repairs in the storm’s aftermath, though even in some urban wards electricity supply was not restored until some two months later.