A ‘Mooban’ is a main village that acts as a centre for other smaller and more remote villages. It is usually closer to a main road and has a school and/or a medical centre.
KHT visited the Mooban of Ban Mae La Ngew to conduct a site survey and understand how we can implement our irrigation and WASH projects to support the villagers. The village has approximately 70 households and most people are reliant on farming for their food and income.
The primary school in the village has a dormitory where children from more remote villages can stay, however the school doesn’t have a steady supply of clean water. Bordering a national park and with a small river cutting through Mae La Ngew, the villagers have faced very difficult years. They are restricted in how they can use the forest around them and experience flooding that not only damages homes but has also made vital farmland unusable. A government-built dam was destroyed during flooding and since then no other support has come to the village.
We haven’t grown rice for five years. We have to buy our rice. We have been able to grow corn to sell but this is not enough to make sure families have enough to live on.Village Headman
Having to buy rice means that many villagers are now in debt. Without a steady income and steady subsistence, they have been forced to borrow money to grow and sell corn and to manage their everyday costs. The fear that further flooding will damage homes or displace them also weighs heavily on the villagers who have no financial security.
The villagers also have to dig small wells and boil water as the older government water system is no longer functioning. The river water isn’t clean enough and walking many kilometres to cleaner water sources in the forest isn’t always possible or safe. It often takes more than one and half hours a day to collect water for a family.
The village headman spoke of many people suffering from stomach issues, diarrhoea, typhoid and parasites in children.
We need more latrines to help the health of the villagers. We need more water to drink, clean and also we need water to farm. Water is a constant worry for us but it is also vital to live.Village Headman
KHT’s team walked to a potential water source 4km from the village. They also considered how to build our FRIS (Flood Resistant Irrigation System) to help farmland become usable again. Our work is vital in ensuring better health and livelihoods for Karen villages like Mae La Ngew and helping them regain food security and financial security. Too often Karen communities are forgotten about as they face worsening climate conditions and the ongoing generational impact of poverty.
There are many villages across Mae Hong Song coping with worsening poverty, food insecurity and harsh weather. You can help us by donating to our important and life changing work today!