By KANTARAWADDY TIMES
The deadline for the completion of community-based projects in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Hpruso Township has been extended by three months due to conflict-related issues, according to officials involved in the program.
“We have already completed 95 projects, but we’re still working on five others that are located in a conflict-affected area,” said U Maung Po, the technical director of Community-based Projects in Hpruso Township.
According to U Maung Po, an additional three months will be required to finish the five remaining projects.
“The reason for the delay is that we were four months late kicking off the projects in the conflict-affected area. We couldn’t start during the summer but had to wait until the rainy season. This made it very difficult to transport materials to the building sites,” U Maung Po told Kantarawaddy Times.
According to U Maung Po, both domestic organizations and international non-governmental organizations want to carry out development projects in conflict-affected areas, but before they can, they have to seek permission from ethnic armed groups (EAOs) as well as the government.
“As civilians, we want more projects. But as you know, we can only get them if they are approved by two organizations [the government and EAOs]. Sometimes one side doesn’t accept a proposed project. We can only start the project after we get permission from both sides,” said Saw Doh Har, the headman of the village of Tho Thi Hpo.
There are 14 village-tracts in Hpruso Township. Of these, five—Taw Khu, Yaw Daw Hkaw, Tho Thi Hpo, Doh Ler Saw and Kay Kaw—are located in Hpruso’s conflict-affected area.
The community-based projects currently being implemented are four years in duration. An evaluation meeting was held by stakeholders in these projects last Friday.