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Akha Human Rights - Akha University
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Bpah Bpoh Gnam Village
Bpah Bpoh Gnam 1/277
265 Rai Taken From Villagers
Bpah Bpoh Ngam Akha village has been at this location for more than 30 years. It has also been Christian for as many years. The relationship of events is hard to know, but it is one of the most impoverished villages in its area, neglected, noteworthy for its recent addition of a second church, and for the rather dusty hopelessness of the place.
Many years ago an Akha woman asked me for a sewing machine here to make a little business. I don't much have the funds for such things but wrote it down.
There are 37 houses. 20 don't have any land, 17 have only a little land.
The village was located up above its current location just about 500 meters in a beautiful hollow. Not sure why they moved. But a rock quary company that wanted granite for slabs soon moved into the old location and began shaping up large blocks of granite with a pneumatic drill, making the large blocks from big round boulders.
Now a Chinese company was back, many years later, and had brought to back hoes. They said that they bought the land from the government and could do what they wanted. The Akha who had fields around the basin were told to get out. The two backhoes went into hacking up the hillsides, looking for boulders here and there. They tore up the village water supply and the villagers had to pay to move it to a new spring, a small supply of water.
After all these years it is quite common to find Akha villages still without water or with very tiny water feeds.
The villagers were building a new hut when I got there, told me their story of woe.
I walked past the locked church and looked in at the new church.
The missionaries often split villages up to three ways, fighting over who will own or control the village, control minds, who's cognation will run the village.
The forestry took much land to protect the water they said, but looking at the current mess didn't help their justification.
The quary people had come there first 28 years ago. They had come back in Feb of 2004.
The village also lost a thirty tree fruit orchard.
With a beautiful lake, it was clear someone was taking the place for themselves.
I wondered if there was any connection with the new rock slab company on the super highway to Maesai?
Copyright 1991 The Akha Heritage Foundation