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After being displaced by war, residents relocate amid flooding

About 800 internally displaced residents who have been taking shelter in Kachin state’s Hpakant town after fleeing from their homes amid fighting between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army now have to relocate due to flooding.

Dashe Lasai, chairman of the National League for Democracy’s Conference Organising Committee in Kachin state said a nearby creek’s water levels rose by an estimated six to seven feet in the town’s Ngatpyawtaw and Ayemyatharyar wards, forcing displaced residents that have been taking shelter in a Baptist church to move again.

“There are 817 war refugees in the church’s compound and now they are also flood refugees,” said Dashe Lasai.

The floodwaters began to subside yesterday, but the creek still remains two feet higher than its average level.

About 9,000 people, including residents from more than 10 villages in Hpakant township and miners from different parts of Burma that worked in the region’s jade mines, were forced to relocate as fighting between the Burmese army and the KIA broke out late last month near Mawmaunghlen mining village.

Dashe Lasai said there are about 39 refugee camps located across Hpakant town. Political parties, religious associations, a nearby hospital and locals have donated aid to the displaced residents, but the NLD member said it would be difficult to continue to provide assistance to this many people.

There are an estimated 90,000 people in Kachin state who have been displaced since a 17-year ceasefire between the KIA and central government broke down in June 2011.


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