Villagers Struggle with Hunger and Sickness in Loikaw Displaced Camps

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Bawlakhe villagers affected by the war in Karenni State are suffering from skin ailments that cause blisters and itching in Loikaw Township.

A woman from the camp in Lawpita village tract said it’s mainly affecting the elderly and young who didn’t sleep under mosquito nets when hiding in the jungle. She said some of the elderly, suffering from malnutrition, can’t eat. However, the residents don’t have food and are waiting for donations to arrive.

Two senior citizens died in the camp in June, the woman said, because they didn’t receive medicine. “Some children are still sick. Even though we have a nurse, we have no medicines. But she’s trying to take care of the people as much as she can.”

Another resident, who fled from Dor Tangu in Demoso Township, said, “We have faced so many hardships. Some people are sick and have nothing to eat. There are many children here. We need someone to provide us with food rations.”

The World Food Programme offered six baskets of rice and $9.50 per person to 30 families who fled to Lawkahtu village, but they haven’t been back since. The people from Bawlakhe, Ywar Thit, and eastern Demoso townships are staying in villagers’ homes. If they can afford to pay, some families are renting, while others have built bamboo huts in gardens.

The Lawpita Hydropower Station is located in the village tract, which is under the control of the Military Council.

According to Karenni human rights groups, there are over 250,000 internally displaced persons (IPDs) in Karenni State and in Pekong Township of southern Shan State. Most of the IDPs live in areas controlled by the resistance groups where the UN agencies are not providing aid.

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