Farmers Face Drought In Southern Shan State 

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In advance of the hot season villagers in southern Shan State are experiencing weather conditions that are much drier than usual.

“Summer hasn’t even come yet and we’re already facing drought,” said Sai Kyaw, from Kholam township.

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Photo by Kholam villager

It’s not uncommon for things to dry up in the hot season but this year it’s a lot earlier, he explained. “We’ll have more challenges in the summertime. Water levels in Nawng Pha lake have also been decreasing.”

Sai Moon Oum told SHAN he’s had to source water from other locations around Kholam.

“My well used to have enough water for drinking and other things, even in the summertime, but now it’s disappearing.”

There aren’t any mines monopolizing the water supply in the township, said Kyaw, but many trees on the mountains have been cut down by investors registering land under the VFV land law (Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin land law).

After the clear cuts the soil isn’t retaining water like before, he said.

SHAN called the Kholam Township Water and Land Management Department for a comment but couldn’t reach anyone by press time.

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