Flooding Displaces Hundreds of Karen Villagers in Dooplaya District, Karen State

8 October 2013
Karen State, Burma

Dooplaya District in Karen State was hit with extensive flooding during the 2013 monsoon season.  Heavy rainfall at the end of July 2013 has resulted in residents of 62 villages in Win Ye Township losing their homes and/or rice fields, causing many to relocate to a drier location. Flooding in Kawkariek Township has damaged or destroyed roughly 5,255 acres. Nearly 800 villagers throughout Dooplaya District have been displaced by the flooding.

Dozens of homes and thousands of acres of farmland have been destroyed.

FBR teams from Dooplaya District conducted a relief mission to provide aid for the hundreds of residents who have been affected by these floods. Rangers delivered medicine, rice and cooking pots for the flood victims, and provided encouragement and entertainment for children during a Good Life Club program. Karen FBR teams are preparing to provide more relief aid in the affected areas.

FBR Relief teams provide blankets, rice and cooking supplies for those displaced by the floods.

Many homes and buildings have been swept away or severely damaged in the wake of this disaster. According to CIDKP (Committee of Internally Displaced Karen People), the flooding began on 27 July 2013. The flooding started in Kawkariek Township, completely destroying the Htithele Village plantation, which consisted of 16 homes. In Kwee Ler Shugh Village, flooding damaged another 16 homes, with the rising waters sweeping belongings downstream. In the Palu area of Min Lae Pan Village, 170 households fled from rising waters, taking shelter in a monastery, which now serves as a refuge for over 600 displaced villagers from all over Dooplaya District.

Children having fun during a GLC program.

Kawkariek and Kyain Townships have seen their wetland cultivation areas damaged by the floods. This farmland provides both food and income for families, and the aftermath of the floodwaters has devastated this year’s crop. A 68-year-old man from Kwee Ler Shugh lost this year’s crop yields and most of the contents of his store when floods hit his area – causing a loss of nearly 25,000 Baht in damages. Many villagers reported similar losses, while others say their entire plantations lay in ruin. Without money generated from shops and agriculture, the residents also do not have money to continue to support teachers in the area, largely cutting off access to education for children.

The destruction of roads, homes and fields in this area has greatly limited transportation capabilities, complicating the transfer of medical patients to hospitals.

The people of Dooplaya District, Karen State are in need of shelter, food, and medical care. We ask that you join us in praying for them, and others throughout Burma who are suffering in the wake of this year’s floods.

Some of the Karen villagers displaced by the floods in July and August 2013.

May God bless you,

Karen Free Burma Rangers