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Chipwi Township IDPs Leave Resettlement Site, Return to Camp

New IDP camp, Chipwi township, Kachin State of Northern Burma.

Internally displaced Kachin people (IDPs) have moved back to their camp in Chipwi Township after suffering from water shortages and difficulties in accessing education for their children at their resettlement site. 

Burma’s Red Cross Association built houses for 14 families at a new settlement site, also in Kachin State’s Chipwi Township in 2019.

Taik Nyoi, who is in charge of the camp, said that IDPs had many challenges and difficulties in the new location and opted to return to their former IDP camp.

“The school is located far from the new place. It’s a big challenge for their children to go to school,” she explained. “Another problem is water. We don’t have enough water. Only one small water pipe is connected for 14 families. There is no water pond. The market is also located a bit far from the new place. Therefore, we have many difficulties. Only one family remains at the new place and the other families moved back to the old camp.”

Eight families from the Lhovo Baptist Church camp and four families from the Kachin Baptist Convention camp—both in Chipwi—moved to the new site in May of last year, three miles from their former IDP camp.

According to Taik Nyo, the World Food Programme initially agreed to provide food to the resettled IDPs for six months and later extended the assistance after a request from the IDPs.

The IDPs in Chipwi said that if the lack of water was resolved, they would stay at the resettlement site.

Taik Nyoi added that there have been travel restrictions imposed on the IDP camp and restrictions on visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are more than 200 families living in the two Chipwi Township camps.

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