Situation Update | Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District (2014)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in July 2014. It was written by a community member in Hpapun District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security. This report was received along with other information from Hpapun District, including five interviews and 186 photographs.
During 2014, we have still had human right abuses in Dwe Lo Township, Mu Traw [Hpapun] District. The most [serious] human rights violations are land confiscation and [issues related to] gold mining projects.
The civilian situation
In Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, Dwe Lo Township, most of the civilians are [flat field] farmers and hill farmers. The civilians have faced many difficulties because of gold mining projects and their land has been confiscated without any payment. Some of the villagers do not have their own land tittle so their land has been confiscated by the government. Villagers cannot do anything about this. The villagers planted betel nut trees and betel leaf vines on farms and plantations but all their plants were destroyed.
In Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, Dwe Lo Township, most of the children and young people are seeking education as they want to improve their standard of living to bring it more into line with international [standards]. In the areas where gold mining is happening, some parents cannot send their children to school because they don’t have sufficient livelihoods [due to the negative impacts of gold mining]. For example, in Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, Dwe Lo Township, Ma Lay Ler village tract, A--- village, each student studying in primary school has to pay 80,000 Kyat (US $80.56) in school fees so the parents have faced problems sending their children to school. Some parents don’t have enough income to send their children to school but some parents who have a good income can send their children to school. And also there are no high schools nearby so some students went to study in the city and some went to study in refugee camps.
Wha Hka clinic is located in Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, Dwe Lo Township. The most difficult [health issue] that the villagers have been facing is malaria. The villagers go to hospital to get medicine when they feel sick, but some villages are not close to the hospital so they go and get medicine from shops. Some villagers cannot buy medicine so they are using traditional medicine and some villagers are going to city hospitals. Some women face breast cancer but they don’t know how to protect themselves. Also some are living close to [areas under the mixed control of different armed actors] so there is no one who will come and give health education workshops in the area.
This Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, Dwe Lo Township Situation Update covers the civilian situation, education and healthcare. The villagers expressed their feelings when we went to the field.