It was round about 6 o’clock in the morning. Being the winter season, the atmosphere of the surrounding area was very cool. The grass was wet with dew sprayed for the whole night. Reflected gentle rays of the morning sun were casting pleasant sunshine over the whole environment.
Yet, there were people in the office of Maungtaw district administrator busying themselves preparing to deliver humanitarian aids to villages in northern Maungtaw provided by the ministry of social welfare, relief and resettlement with the help of national management committee for natural disasters.
Under the aegis of U Ye Htut, Maungtaw district administrator and Dr Min Thein, director of the ministry of SWR&R, our news and information group left for the villages in northern Maungtaw in aid convoy.
After leaving Maungtaw, we reached Kyikanpyin, Kyeinchaung and Bandoola very soon, and from there we did move on to the villages in northern Maungtaw, enjoying the natural beauty of the May Yu mountain range, the grove of cashew trees and golden fields on the route.
Village-houses seen from afar were not pucca-buildings but neat and tidy in their appearance. The very first village in our sight is named “Nwayontaung”, which is situated on Maungtaw-Kyikanpyin road. It can be said to be crowded, to some extent. On our arrival there, we found children playing and some adults gathering in front of a shop. Paddy fields outside the village saw harvesters and carriers of paddy working respectively.
Then, we arrived at Kyikanpyin. Being the tarmac road, communication between Kyikanpyin and Maungtaw is good, but the road was coarse as soon as we passed Kyikanpyin, taking time more than expected. Kyikanpyin well-equipped with a police station, a school and a dispensary is a place of help for locals’ health and education. Displaced people have been found to start reoccupying their residences.
Similarly, most of the displaced people from Aung Zeya, Aung Mingalar, Maung Hnama, Aung Tharyar and other villages returned to their locations. In these villages, houses with betel palm trees planted in all surroundings are pleasant dwelling places to live. And the villages seem to be a scenic picture against the background of the range of Mount May Yu.
Betel palm trees are abundant in Pharwutchaung village as well. Just outside the village, there can be seen streams, creeks and prawn ponds. We have seen villagers reaping, threshing and winnowing paddy in the fields in Nganchaung village. Some sellers and purchasers were going to and fro on Maungtaw-Kyikanpyin-Kyeinchaun road in their motor bikes, with passenger bus found occasionally.
On the road of northern Maungtaw, Long Don is a huge village, including the villages of Na Ta La with village dispensaries and schools included. It is learnt that Na Ta La villages were built as neo-villages for local nationals during the several decades ago, presently amounting to 95 in total.
Long Don, Ngakhura and Kyeinchaung are villages crowded with local residents in northern Maungtaw. Especially Kyeinchaung market with over 250 stalls for regular sellers and a row of stalls for irregular ones— is mainly relied by neighboring villages. After a short stopover at Kyeinchaung, we are to proceed to our final destination, Khamaungseik village.
To be continued