By Kantarawaddy Times
Residents of Mawchi, where many tin and tungsten mines are located, continue to suffer from rising inflation after fighting has prevented food and other items from reaching the town situated in Hpasawng Township, Karenni State.
“It’s so difficult to live here,” said Ko Soe Reh, where food products cost higher than in other regions in the country.
He said that a viss (1.68 kg) of potatoes costs between 20,000 ($9.50) – 25,000 kyat, while the same amount of tomatoes sells for 20,000 kyat. However, the daily wages of laborers in the mines, about 15,000 kyat per day, have stayed the same.
Workers cannot earn enough to feed themselves and their families, Ko Soe Reh said. On the other hand, the tin and tungsten mining block owners are also struggling to turn a profit. “If they pay more to their laborers, they won’t make any profit because of the drastic price increase in commodities. Both owners and laborers are struggling in this area.”
Mine bosses are paid depending on the quality of their products, he explained. They can get 50,000 kyat per viss for high grade metals and between 30,000 – 40,000 kyat for the lower grades.
If the situation doesn’t improve soon and prices remain the same or increase, the mining economy in the town will soon collapse. In the past, transportation to the town was good, and food prices were normal. However, after the military coup, everything changed for the worse and is affecting everyone in the town.