Trucks have stopped transporting essential goods to the remote Hsawlaw Township in northeastern Kachin State after fuel costs rose dramatically this year.
“We can no longer afford the cost of fuel,” one driver told KNG, asking that his name not be published. A round trip from Myitkyina to Hsawlaw, which used to cost $190, is now twice as expensive.
A man from Hsawlaw, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “In the past, locals bought goods from China. After the outbreak of COVID-19 (closed the border), we started buying food and other goods from central Burma. Since then, it has become increasingly difficult and expensive to buy rice and other essentials.”
People’s Militia Force, Border Guard Force and Burma Army also forced drivers to pay taxes before they were allowed to reach Hsawlaw, which is northeast of the Kachin State capital in Myitkyina District.