Tachileik and Mong Hsat Districts, Shan State, Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Loi Taw Kham village tract, Tachileik district.
Satone village tract,Talarn village tract and Mong Twan area, Mong Hsat District, Eastern Shan State, Myanmar.
Beneficiaries: 13,156 people, 2,466 households from four ethnic groups in 56 villages
Project duration: 2013 – 2018
Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar through the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC), Progress of Border Areas and National Races Department (NATALA), The Royal Thai Government through the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), The Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF)
On March, 3rd 2012, a ‘Central Level Consultation Meeting on Alternative Development Project between Myanmar and Thailand’ was held in Tachileik, followed by a study visit to the Doi Tung Development Project, Chiang Rai, in order to discuss cooperation on an Alternative Development programme between the two countries. This led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Thai and Myanmar Governments on the Cooperation on Sustainable Alternative Livelihood Development on September 17th, 2012. CCDAC and ONCB are the executing agencies for the programme, with NATALA and MFLF working as lead implementing agencies, in close cooperation with relevant line agencies and local communities.
The Project is divided into two phases during its six-year period. The first phase focuses on enhancing the communities’ ability to “survive,” having good health, food security and earning enough income to meet their basic economic and social needs. The second phase aims to ensure “sufficiency” by introducing more value-added processing as well as empowering the local people to be self-reliant and be able to continue the development efforts on their own.
The baseline survey revealed that the local population still suffer from basic health problems. Mobile medical services, including general treatment, dental care, and laboratory tests for Malaria, dengue fever and TB have been carried out to serve as a “quick-hit” activity, building the trust of the community. Preventive health care is equally important, hence the community health volunteers training program which aimed to build the capacity of village representatives to support local medical officers, in promoting basic sanitation and surveillance of epidemics. The Project has also enhanced the capacity of local governmental health personnel and facilities through training, renovation of Rural Health Centers, and medical equipment and supplies support.
In terms of livelihood development, the Project started off with water system development, providing better access to clean water supply for household consumption as well as irrigation system improvement. The Project only provides support in technical know-how and construction materials, while the communities contribute their labour and later set up common regulations for water usage to ensure sustainability of the project.
Building on the improved irrigation system, a “seed bank” program has been established to encourage farmers to grow more than one crop per year given sufficient water even after monsoon season. This initiative would generate increase in income and food security for the target population. Other agricultural development activities included the setting up of a demonstration plot and distribution of fruit trees and economic forestry saplings for longer-term income.
Livestock is another asset that has much potential for development. In collaboration with the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) in Tachileik and Mong Hsat districts, livestock volunteers have been trained to provide vaccination and basic treatment to livestock in the Project area in order to lessen mortality rate and loss., This has been complemented by quality livestock medicine fund and regular mobile veterinary unit services. To increase livestock quantity, to contribute towards food security and increased income, the Project has set up a “pig bank”, distributing Meisan pig breeders to villagers who are committed to repaying pig offsprings to be further loaned to other underprivileged villagers. . In accordance with the villagers’ needs, the Project also has plans for other livestock banks such as chicken, goat and fish.
In addition to the aforementioned development activities, the Project has also supported the construction of two schools in Loi Taw Kham Village Tract, and one in Talarn Village tract to provide better education opportunities for local youths.
In 2015, the Project continues to emphasise on increasing food security and household income with an ultimate goal of uplifting income of the target population to be above Myanmar standard poverty line (1.25 USD per person per day) by the end of the Project.