Hpakant found the attention of the international media in the past few months due to several devastating deadly landslides, claiming hundreds of lives. Hpakant is also a hot bed for opium cultivation, most workers are young men from across Myanmar who go to Kachin to find their fortunes. However, working conditions are poor and the life difficult, many fall victim to hard drugs and extreme poverty.
Recently after the deadly landslides safety concerns have been growing as fresh landslides are occurring almost every week and little is done for worker safety.
Kachin State is the undisputed jade capital of the world, a single stone can sell for several million euros. A recent report by Global Witness recently described the jade industry in Kachin State as “the biggest natural resource heist in modern history”.