People displaced by the conflict in Kachin State have decided to move from their camp, located on the premises of a church, to another place with the help of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC).
”We have been living there for a long time, but the problem is that the area is prone to flooding during the rainy season,” said a resident of Shaduzup KBC internally displaced people (IDPs) camp along the Tanai-Ledo road. He told KNG that they will move to the western Kachin Baptist Church grounds in Awng Ra, which is not too far from their original camp.
At the end of April, residents held a prayer and groundbreaking ceremony before construction work began on the six-acre plot. The man said KBC offered them $5,400 to build huts for the IDPs to live.
“If we spend all the money, we will have to stop construction and might need more financial support to finish it.”
He said that of the 24 families who will move there, only 16 will live there for the whole year, so these families will be given priority for housing. Both the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the regime have accepted the new location for the IDPs.
Residents from Awng Ra IDP camp also want to move, but their situation is more complicated as they have no land and no one has offered to fund the move, said An, the camp’s leader.
Both camps were established from villagers from Lord Ja in Tanai Township. They fled their homes after the Burma Army launched a clearance campaign in 2017 to force the KIO’s military wing, Kachin Independence Army out of the gold-rich township.