Burma News International (BNI) | December 13, 2017
Over one-third of the houses in a Kachin IDP camp are in urgent need of repair, but due to a lack of funds cannot carry out the necessary work, according to camp officials.
Brang Mai, the head of the N’Hkawng Pa Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Momauk township, Kachin State, said the shelters must be upgraded before the next monsoon kicks in.
“Ninety-five houses need to be repaired this year. It’s inevitable,” he said. “Around ten houses from another section also need to be repaired. There are over 100 houses in total. We don’t have the money yet, but we won’t be able to last through the next monsoon [without repairing them],” he said.
As a temporary measure to keep the elements at bay, the houses have been covered in tarpaulin and plastic.
Around 513 people are struggling to get by in the damaged houses.
“The pillars of the houses are too small. They cannot stand the wind. The roofs are blown off whenever it is windy,” said Daw Dwe Bu, one of the IDP camp residents.
The IDPs are used to getting by in tough circumstances; they’ve been displaced for up to six years after fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and Tatmadaw renewed. But every year, the supplies seem to dwindle even as the needs grow. The shortfalls are many and glaring. Bran Mai said there is not enough medicine, food, household commodities, emergency sweaters or blankets.
“There are many things we need,” he said.
““The weather is cold now so blankets and sweaters are needed. The children fall sick because it’s very cold here. Also, the food supply has been reduced so large families do not get enough to eat. There aren’t any places to work here.”
The IDPs at N’Hkawng Pa said that at nearly the year’s end they’ve received only around 70 percent of the food supply they expected. They used to be able to rely on social organizations, but say that this year, the donations have all but dried up.
The camp houses around 1,879 people from 16 villages in Bhamo and Momauk townships. They are among the over 100,000 IDPs currently displaced throughout Kachin State and along the Myanmar-China border.
This article originally appeared on Burma News International on December 13, 2017