Karen Village

Karen Village

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Air Pollution at the Village

The dry season comes swiftly in the village, and with it follows dust storms and debris from the clearing of farm fields by slash and burn methods. To add to this, many people have taken to burning garbage as a quick alternative, due to the lack of a stable garbage collection system. When so many families throughout South East Asia do this, some fires can get out of control. Destroying local forests and devastating the environment.

[Picture of Road at 11:00am: What should have been clear day]

On our last few trips up to the village, we noticed small fires almost everywhere, along the sides of the road, and even in the dry mountain forests. The smoke from these fires has become so bad that many places in Northern Thailand have been declared disaster zones due to such poor air quality. The villagers are situated near these disaster zones and the smog. Coughing and eye irritation has become common.

We’re happy to report that the air quality has improved from the last few weeks that we were at the village, however no one can tell how the situation will effect the health of the villagers in the long term.

Many of the village homes are still made entirely of wood; they are deigned in a way so that air can easily pass through the home and cool the residents. Unfortunately this offers little protection from the dust. As the loud nights of crickets and geckos seem to quiet down, we can only pray for the health of those who have to live firsthand in this crisis.