New Rangers Provide Aid and Relief in Karen State, Burma
25 March 2020
Karen State, Burma
From Jan. 4-23, multiethnic teams of recent Free Burma Ranger training graduates set out on a mission in Kler Lwe Htoo District, Karen State, Burma. Throughout the mission, the Rangers visited 17 villages, comprising of 12,229 villagers, to provide medical assistance, Good Life Club (GLC) programs, and document civilian needs in the area.
The civilians of Kler Lwe Htoo District are facing a food shortage. Villagers told the Rangers that over 80% of villagers subsist on farming and rainy season floods followed by drought have devastated crop yields. Disagreements over land rights and usage have augmented this food security problem. Many villagers have previously been permitted to farm on government-claimed land. Currently, however, the government is prohibiting the land’s use unless the villagers pay a fee.
The team documented Burma Army activity in the mission area. Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 440 was located in Mone Township between Kyaw Bya and Theik Char Seik. Infantry Battalion (IB) 124, led by deputy battalion commander Maj. Myit Htu, was located along the road between Toe Ta Dah and Baw Ga Ta. Villagers expressed to the Rangers that they hope the Burma Army and the Karen National Union can and will continue to work toward a peaceful resolution concerning the conflict.
Kler Lwe Htoo civilians lack medical assistance. Only two out of the 17 villages visited had medical clinics. Each clinic had one midwife and some assistants, but there were no trained medics or nurses at either location. The Ranger team’s medics provided medical training to village healthcare workers and distributed medicine and supplies to villages throughout the mission. The medics also set up clinics and treated 1,336 patients suffering from hypertension, chronic joint pain, anemia, skin infections, viral illnesses, UTI, dental problems, and worms.
The Rangers conducted GLC programs in every village to spread help, hope, and love to combat the hardships endemic in the region. The teams distributed hundreds of GLC-shirts, bracelets, snacks, and school supplies to local children. The team also assessed education in the villages. Rangers reported that every village had at least one school and that three villages even had high schools with 264, 493, and 514 students respectively.
The Rangers concluded the report by calling for further missions and the distribution of additional supplies in the area. Moreover, the team wants to thank all leaders, donors, and those who pray for the people of Burma for the completion of another successful mission.