Gusty Winds and Heavy Rains Plague Sha-it Yang IDP Camp

The recent strong, gusty winds and heavy downpours since April 2 have created chaos among the IDPs at Pa Jau Sha-it Yang Camp.

The Sha-it Yang Camp dwellers relocated from Zai Awng Mungga Zup Camp a few months ago after heavy clashes took place between Burmese army and KIA troops in close proximity to the camp involving airstrikes and heavy artillery shellings. The IDPs as well as the camp volunteers have been facing serious dilemma since the incessant downpours.

“Over 400 households have been taking shelter at Sha-it Yang Camp where family members are sardined into tents covered in rough sheets of tarpaulin. The recent strong winds and heavy rains have made life very difficult for people here. Furthermore, there is lack of clean water and the leaking roofs are making it almost impossible to cook meals,” said Pastor Nsau, one of the Kachin Baptist Theological College and Seminary (KTCS) volunteers.

Pastor Nsau further explained, “Currently, there are 105 student volunteers at the camp during their summer break: 71 from Nawng Nang KTCS and 34 from Kutkai Bible Seminary sent by the KBC administrative office. The works we are doing here include digging and leveling of the ground, extracting bamboos/small trees from the forest to be used as tent poles and building the shelters. Extracting bamboos/small trees and collecting soil to level up uneven grounds require us to travel far by cars. The roads are in terrible conditions after the pouring rains which makes it very hard for us to function efficiently.”

“In addition to the seminarians, volunteers hailing from the border towns and villages under KIA/KIO administrative offices, members of the Joint Strategy Team (J.S.T), a Kachin network organization comprised of 9 NGOs are also assisting the IDPs here,” added Pastor Nsau.

The Bible School volunteers have been at the camp since March 16 and they have been building shelters, leveling up uneven campgrounds, and teaching Christian scriptures, English and music to kids, the KLN has learned.