La Hkum Lu Aung remembers a time when her life was peaceful and pleasant. Her family had enjoyed normal days, working hard to raise farm animals and cultivate rice and other crops in Nam Lin Pa village of Mansi Township, Kachin State. That was almost ten years ago, before conflict disrupted their lives and they had to flee from their homes. La Hkum Lu Aung has been living in Maing Khaung KBC camp for internally displaced people since then.
“Life at the camp has been full of difficulties,” she says. Among the different challenges that they have been facing, La Hkum Lu Aung says one of the most difficult problems was the lack of access to clean water.
“Everyone at the camp used to collect water from a single hand pump so we could hardly ever collect sufficient water for ourselves. The water was also dirty and had high iron content, making it unsafe for drinking or cooking. It was not adequate even for washing clothes because it used to stain all our clothes,” she says.
In Maing Khaung village, a total of 6,200 people suffered from limited access to clean water, one of the most conflict-affected areas in Kachin State. The village also hosts 1,600 displaced people.
Therefore, both displaced people and host communities would get water from hand-dug wells and hand pump boreholes, but it was not good enough for drinking, cooking, and washing clothes.
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