On this episode of DVB’s Doh Pyay Doh Myay Roadshow, the team visits Hpakant in southern Kachin State, where the hunt for Jade is intensifying as political change in Burma looms.
Military elites, drug lords, crony capitalists—all desperate to rip as much jade from the Kachin hills at Hpakant before a new government threatens a black market trade worth as much as US$20 billion per year.
In their wake come the hand-pickers. Small time miners desperate for a tiny slice of the giant jade trade. Their communities are wracked by drugs and crime.
But it is site-disasters such as landslides that come as the most acute risk of death.