The Matupi branch of the Chin Youth Organization (CYO) has begun monitoring the situation in the town to ensure that the government is addressing various issues in a timely and appropriate manner.
Since the end of July, the group has been reporting its findings to the respective departments and authorities and demanding an effective response.
The most urgent issue in recent days has been the effect of heavy rainfall in the area, which has resulted in landslides and the collapse of roads and houses, as well as the flooding of canals that are full of waste, raising concerns about the health effects of water contamination.
“The policy of the CYO is to monitor the quality and standards of public services and facilities. Besides things such as the condition of canals, we look at issues such as corruption, unfair practices, and weak performance by government departments. We then demand that the relevant authorities address these problems,” Arnold Beik, the chairman of the CYO and an advisor to CYO (Matupi), told Khonumthung News.
Among the issues that it has addressed in the past is the failure of local authorities to take action against illegal logging. According to Arnold Beik, trees are cut in rural areas to supply mills in town without regard for the impact on watersheds.
“The Forestry Department didn’t arrest timber traffickers in the past, so trees were cut down indiscriminately. The mill owners just bribed forestry officials and the illegal logging continued unimpeded,” he said, adding that it took direct action from CYO to help solve the problem.
“For instance, in the Bon Ta Lar mountain range, we—Chin youth—began working together with officials from other departments and one officer from the Forestry Department to arrest timber traffickers. In cooperation with officials, we have been doing this since 2006. If we discover unauthorized logging, we report it to officials,” he told Khonumthung News.
“Now the situation is better in our area,” he added.