Thein Paing’s Story: Pilot Project Brings Hope to the Dryzone

Thein Paing and his family have lived for generations in Myanmar’s Central Dryzone, an area that today is on the brink of desertification causing food insecurity and deepening poverty. Hailing from a family of farmers, Thein Paing never completed school reluctantly choosing to follow in his father’s footsteps.

As changes in climate took hold, unable to penetrate the soil, monsoonal rain caused widespread flooding resulting in the impossibility to rely on rain fed agriculture leaving the land dusty and infertile during the dry season.

Unable to grow enough food to support and feed his family, Thein Paing was forced to send his eldest son to work in Malaysia in order for their family to survive.

As a focal point of ADRA Myanmar’s projects to tackle food insecurity in the area, the SGRIP ‘Sustainable Grazing and Irrigation Pilot Project’, funded and supported by ADRA Australia and AusAID, was implemented providing Thein Paing with training in holistic grazing management practices designed to revive the land to improve the once thriving agricultural industry.

An innovative approach to combat desertification, farmers are trained in how to utilise goats, cows and sheep to contribute to rejuvenating the land by stirring and fertilising the soil so that water is able to penetrate the surface and cause grass to grow during monsoon season.

With newfound hope and income for his family, Thein Paing is thankful for the support and education he received with plans to bring his eldest son home from Malaysia to work alongside him once more in their new venture.

“ADRA help us gain more knowledge and now we feel hopeful that life will get better. I hope that other children in our village will have an opportunity for a better life” ~ Thein Paing

Written By: Emma McCrow, Communications Officer

Photo: © 2016 ADRA Myanmar | Emma McCrow