Residents Remaining in Loikaw City Face Food and Shelter Insecurity.

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Kantarawaddy Times.

Fighting continues daily in Loikaw City, Karenni State, where the 1111 operation is underway. Despite heavy weapons fire, some families remain in the city, unable to flee to other areas.

Sources asserted that Traveling from Loikaw to other towns to escape the conflict costs around 100,000 kyats per person. Daw Thida Win who is a Loikaw resident, says she cannot afford to evacuate her family and faces difficulties finding shelter elsewhere, forcing her to stay in her home. She continues to add that She earns a daily wage through manual labor, but it is insufficient to support her large family.

“I can only leave if I have money in hand. Now, I have no money, so I can’t take my children out of the city. It’s scary staying here, with the constant explosions. Heavy weapons are falling right next to us. Sometimes people ask why we haven’t left yet. It’s not that we don’t want to, but we simply can’t effort to go out.  Before the conflict, we relied on daily wages for our livelihoods. Currently, we have no work due to the conflict and we’re surviving on what others have donated,” Daw Thida Win said.

Sources claimed that Some residents who fled Loikaw to Shan State after the 1111 operation began are now returning to Loikaw city.

U Toe, who returned to Loikaw after being displaced, said, “Of course, I’m worried. We hear explosions all the time. We wouldn’t stay if we had a choice. We only remain because we have nowhere else to go. When the heavy weapons fire starts, it’s terrifying. Drones and other things come, and we’re scared. We can’t sleep properly. At night, when we hear explosions, we just sit and watch scarily.”

It has been reported Most residents rely on daily wages from selling goods, marketing, picking vegetables, chopping firewood, and other manual labor to survive.

“It’s really hard to make ends meet. It’s very difficult for me. I can’t go anywhere else. The people who used to buy my vegetables aren’t buying anymore because their business isn’t good. I chop firewood, but there are no buyers. We’re just scraping by with what we have. We have to buy rice in small quantities. We have to buy rice in Pyi (2 KG), which one Pyi costs at least 4,000 kyats.” U Toe added.

Residents in Loikaw earn a maximum daily wage of 5,000 kyats, which is not enough to support their families. They only travel within the accessible areas of the city and are constantly worried about their safety as heavy weapons sometimes land near their neighborhoods and homes.

The 1111 operation in Loikaw City continues to clashes daily, with the military junta increasingly using drones and incendiary bombs.

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