UpWater is being implemented in three remote communities in Nong Lu, which is a subdistrict in Sangkhlaburi district of Kanchanaburi province, on Thailand's western border with Myanmar. (See the map on the right.) In particular, UpWater is working with the underprivileged non-Thai communities in Fung Na, Ban Mai, and Mong Sa Tur. The displaced Mons and Karens in these communities constantly struggle with economic and health burdens.
Fung Na is a community of Karen-ethnic people, who have settled in small plots of land, which they do not own, near rubber plantations. The community comprises 18 households. The people in Fung Na typically make a living by working as dayworkers in nearby plantations or making broom brushes with grass they've collected. The broom brushes are sold to Mon people from nearby communities, who make and sell brooms. The people in Fung Na rely on water from a small spring for drinking, and a small stream for bathing and household use.
In Ban Mai, UpWater is working with a community of Mons, who have settled on a piece of public land by a small river. There are 36 households in this community. They rely on water from the river for drinking and household use. Most people in the community work in nearby rubber plantations and gather and sell non-timber forest products. Some people also earn their incomes by making charcoals and selling vegetables from their gardens. Fuel can be hard to find, so branches and wood waste from the rubber plantations are often used for fuel.
Mong Sa Tur
In Mong Sa Tur, UpWater is also working with a community of Mon-ethnic people (about 50 households), who live in a remote, less developed area of a bigger Thai village (of over 270 households). The Mon people use wells (both protected and unprotected) as their primary sources of water. These people also work as dayworker and gather non-timber forest products. Because of their proximity to the Thai community, the Mon people in Mong Sa Tur have better living conditions than those of the non-Thais in Fung Na and Ban Mai.