Posted on 04 Aug 22 in KHT News

The KHT constructed our 100th Flood Resistant Irrigation System (FRIS) this May!

The village of Ban Thung Pa Kha May now has an irrigation dam that will benefit over 420 people and reduce poverty and food insecurity. 

Why do Karen villages need KHT’s Livelihoods Programme?  

Traditional irrigation dams in Mae Hong Son are temporary structures constructed from trees. This means hundreds of trees are felled every year, and these structures are often not resilient to the heavy rainfall and are unable to stop flooding throughout the year. Farmers are typically unable to use their land in the dry season due to a lack of water, and flooding can destroy crops. With most households reliant on subsistence farming, the result is low incomes and days frequently spent with insufficient food. 

What is a Flood Resistant Irrigation System?  

The FRIS is a concrete permanent dam-like structure and additional irrigation channels that allow Karen farmers to irrigate their land and avoid the harm caused by flooding. Our team carries out needs analyses in villages to ensure the FRIS will benefit them before starting construction. Our Thai team builds the FRIS with local villagers, passing on the knowledge of how they work and how to maintain them. This means the community is empowered to own the FRIS and look after it.  

Construction in progress

How do we measure impact?  

We do baseline and end-line surveys to track the impact and make sure our work is making a difference. These surveys tell us how the FRIS has impacted household incomes, the types and amounts of crops grown as well as the use of the land.  

A simple solution, a significant impact:  

An in-depth evaluation of our FRIS projects was carried out in 2021 and highlighted the value and benefit of our livelihoods works for Karen villages. Of the villages we supported, 99% of paddy fields were usable all year round (compared to 39% before KHT). Household income increased from between 60% to 108% and 37% of households were lifted out of extreme poverty. Crop diversity increased and food insecurity fell from all households to less than one-third. We also estimate that over 1000 trees are saved from being felled every year due to the permanent FRIS and this has a positive environmental impact.  

Supporting livelihoods is vital in reducing extreme poverty, increasing resilience, and improving the quality of life for the Karen. These life-changing interventions are only possible with your support! You can help us reach even more people by donating today!