Flimsy Shelters Cause Further Problems for Kachin State IDPs in Rainy Season

Monday, June 8, 2020

Internally displaced people (IDPs) in Namti, Kachin State, say that they are facing difficulties his rainy season, as they are exposed to the elements by faulty housing.

The complaints came from the new Nyaung Taw IDP camp, home to more than 700 Kachin IDPs.

“When we looked at our shelters, they seemed to be good. In reality, rainwater leaks through the roof. We cannot sleep at night when rain falls,” Nu Pan, who moved from Zup Mai Yang village to the IDP camp, told NMG. “After the rain, there is mud around our shelters. Our children play in the mud. We want the authorities to fill in the mud with sand or gravel. We also want the authorities to prepare roofs for our shelters as soon as possible,” she added.

The rains began in Namti in early May. Kachin IDPs from Namti – Lankhwa Roman Catholic church and Myo Oo IDP camp moved to Saint Francis Nyaung Taw IDP camp, also known as the new IDP camp, in April. There were 408 people from 79 families from Kasung village and 238 people of 45 families from Zup Mai Yang village living in the Saint Francis Roman Catholic Nyaung Taw IDP camp.

“This IDP camp is located in a windy area. Our galvanized iron sheet roofs are so weak. When the wind comes, our roof opens up That’s why rainwater drips from the roof,” Zau Khun, who is the head of the Nyaung Taw IDP camp, told NMG.

The IDPs already reported the problem to the Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS). Officials of the KMSS observed the situation on the ground in the IDP camp during the last week of May.

According to Zau Khun, no one has come to fix their roofs.

“We want to get our roofs fixed as soon as possible. We already reported it. They came to observe it. We already calculated the possible cost of fixing the roofs. I think it will take time to get funds. Whatever happens, we want to fix our roofs before strong rains fall,” Zau Khun told NMG.

The shelters in the Nyaung Taw camp were mainly supported by the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund. The Karuna Mission Social Solidarity also supported the cost of building the housing.

These IDPs fled the villages of Kasung and Zup Mai Yang in Mogaung Township and sought refuge in IDP camps in Namti town when the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army clashed in their area in 2018.