The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 2,858,000 baht for “the Project for Procurement of a Fire Engine in Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization in Muang District, Mae Hong Son Province”. On 13 October, 2015, Mr. Shinya Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Satien Khayandee, Chief Executive of Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization, jointly signed the funding contract at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Huaypong Sub-District is located in the southern part of Muang Mae Hong Son District, and is a vast mountainous area. The Sub-District has a population of 6,952 in 15 villages and most of the residents comprise ethnic minorities with low average incomes such as Shan and Karen and are engaged in agriculture. As the west part of the Sub-District borders Myanmar, there are also almost 5,000 refugees and migrants from Myanmar living in this area. They can live peacefully alongside the residents without any communication problem because they are also Shan and Karen. However, problems associated with rapid population growth, such as shortage of agricultural land and scarcity of water for daily life are beginning to surface.
Mr. Shinya Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai (4th left), and Mr. Satien Khayandee, (4th right),Chief Executive of Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization jointly signed the funding contract at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
In such a mountainous area, haze from agricultural burning and forest fires is a serious issue because many inhabitants are still engaged in slash-and-burn agriculture. Most of the residents use water from streams for daily life, however, the shortage of running water in the dry season from January to May is becoming a serious problem which is exacerbated by climate change due to global warming, deforestation in water resource areas and increasing demand for water for agricultural. Therefore the Sub-District Administration Organization is obliged to supply water to all 15 villages daily during the dry season using a single fire engine. However, this is practically impossible because of the wide area to be covered and the age and poor condition of the vehicle.
In response to a request from Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization, the Government of Japan will bear the costs of purchasing a medium size fire engine with a water tank and crane. It is expected that this support will contribute to ensuring the security of the residents in Huaypong Sub-District and the nearby area as well as mitigating smoke haze and aiding conservation of the natural environment in the north of Thailand.
The Japanese government intends to continue supporting projects which contribute to the mitigation of haze and the preservation of the environment as well as projects which improve Human Security of ethnic minorities from Myanmar in the north of Thailand through its Grant Assistance for Human Security Projects scheme (GGP).