Securing Livelihoods

Securing Livelihoods to ensure thriving Karen communities

Securing Sustainable Livelihoods

The Karen live in the remote mountainous areas of the province. A disproportionate majority of Karen communities depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods, with an average annual income of just 24,500 THB (644 GBP) per household. Most communities also have limited access to basic socioeconomic services such as healthcare and education – the enrollment of Karen children in primary education is 51% (compared to national average at 89%), whilst only 1 in 4 Karen children complete their secondary education.

This high dependency on subsistence agriculture makes Karen communities extremely vulnerable to change in weather. Heavy rain can mean that crops get swept away, whilst the lack of rain can mean that the crops wither. From KHT’s research, it is clear that in most villages, at least 50% of villagers do not produce enough rice to last them through the year and most families suffer from food shortages at least five times a month.  

KHT partners with Karen communities to improve and secure their livelihoods and protect the environment.

So far, our livelihood projects have brought over 2,500 acres of farmland back into production, supported Karen farmers from 91 villages and saved over 4 million trees!

“Before the help of KHT I had very little income to support my family but this year the irrigation dam will produce a much more sustainable and reliable harvest, and enable us to earn 5 times more than last year.”

– Tongma, Villager from Hua Mae Tho

Current Projects



Karen communities live primarily in harsh mountainous environments that are vulnerable to natural hazards such as drought and flooding. These communities are highly dependent on subsistence farming for food supplies and household income, yet, their traditional agricultural practices are threatened by such natural hazards. As a result, livelihoods are volatile and highly unsustainable.

Through construction of flood-resistant irrigation systems (FRIS), the Irrigation Project strengthena agriculture as a sustainable livelihood for Karen farmers living in Mae Hong Son Province

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