Ban Huay Ha Mai is a village with 145 residents in the Mai La Noi district. It is a remote village with no school and no medical facility. Many children from the village live in a dormitory away from home so they can attend school daily.
KHT recently began the construction of a WASH system for the village. Water poverty in the village meant many families were unable to access enough clean water for their needs during the dry seasons. The old government system did not adequately support the water needs of the families, meaning they had to use a nearby river and well that were contaminated with waste and sediment.
The village has also experienced landslides and flooding 60% of families in the village are unable to grow enough rice.
KHT met with Mrs Nittaya, a mother who has lived in the village for more than 30 years. She raised her four children in Ban Huay Ha Mai and now all but one of them has moved into their own homes.
Life for me used to be very difficult. I was unwell whilst raising my children and it was a struggle.
In the past we didn’t have a water system, and we collected water from the well using big bamboo sticks, but overtime we began using plastic gallon containers, which was easier. We also used the river more and this caused problems as some people used it to drink and some people washed clothes or themselves. We have always boiled the water to make it safer. Now the system we do have isn’t working as well and is old. Having KHT help will mean the world to us. It will end a lot of hardship for people.
Mrs Nittaya told us that her and her son do the farming as her husband has been unwell for many years. There are some years the crops fetch a good price but some years when they do not, leaving them struggling. Being able to grow more and diverse crops would help the village greatly. KHT will also be implementing a livelihoods project via our Flood Resistant Irrigation System in the village to further help the people.
Mrs Nittaya spoke highly of her village, its nature beauty and how the Karen use and look after their environment. She said that the villagers respect each other, and that her hopes are for the children in the village being able to achieve more as she was unable to study further. She mentioned the difficult journey the children and parents make to and from the dormitory and KHT will be working with the village to see how we can help further.
I am an old lady, I don’t hope much except for my children to be happy and to help them as much as I can.
We are so grateful and thankful with your help for both the water system and latrines. I feel like having this water will end many worries for our community and we will have better health in the future. The experience has also brought us closer and we think we can work together more and improve our lives and organise things better. It is not often we will get help, so for KHT to come here….thank you so much!
Help us support more forgotten Karen women and men by donating to our WASH projects today!