Responding to several shouts Viraj emerges from the ruins of his shelter in northwest Bosnia. He is originally from India but is now squatting near Bihać in what remains of a house abandoned since the 1990s Balkans war.
The third wave of Covid-19 is sweeping through Myanmar, from the high narrow buildings of the commercial capital Yangon to bamboo houses in rural areas.
Myanmar’s government has responded to pressure from the international community to tackle religious tensions and persecution of Muslims in Rakhine State by appointing former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan to head a commission to advise on “a sustainable solution” to the crisis.
The central plains of Myanmar, bordered by mountains on the west and east, include the only semi-arid region in South East Asia – the Dry Zone, home to some 10 million people. This 13 percent of Myanmar’s territory sums up the challenges that the country faces with respect to water security: an uneven geographical and seasonal distribution of this natural resource, the increasing unpredictability of rain patterns due to climate change, and a lack of water management strategies to cope with extreme weather conditions.
It has been two weeks now since the village of Htita, with its few bamboo houses hemmed in by parched, cracked earth and dried-out ponds, has enjoyed the novelty of its first ever water well.