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I try to be positive as much as I can in my life, but that doesn’t change the fact that the world can be a scary place sometimes. Disease is snaking its way around the world, sea levels and temperatures are rising; sometimes, it feels like the Earth is trying really hard to knock us off of itself.

One place that’s getting a really raw deal is Ta Dar U, a village off the coast of the Sittaung River on the southeast coast of Myanmar. Over the last few years, a dangerous possibility has become an immutable certainty: rising sea levels have caused the banks of the Sittaung to surge up onto land, weathering down foundations and threatening homes. The denizens of Ta Dar U have had no choice but to completely disassemble their homes and move them further inland in order to keep their property (and themselves) safe. This is bad enough, but as a side effect of this, the local schoolhouse has been abandoned, forcing the village’s youth to commute to other villages hours away just to get an education. A makeshift school has been made further inland, but there is only one staff member, Myo Min Thein, and he can’t handle every child alone.

Credit: Reuters

“If the erosion continues at this rate, the future of the students in other destroyed villages will, in one way or another, be ruined. The number of the staff (teachers) is insufficient, they don’t want to come here as this area has been affected by the natural disaster,” he told Reuters. “This disaster has destroyed not only the building but also the dreams and ambitions of the children. As a teacher, I hope that the local authorities will do something to help us with the issue of erosion.”

Credit: Reuters

The erosion caused by the rising Sittaung has already consumed ten other villages in the last four years. Myanmar’s climate change department is currently working on plans to stem the tide, but don’t currently have any estimates on when those plans can be put into action, nor do they have any ideas for resettling the displaced.

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