Filling up the boat with kits and pumps
Filling up the boat with kits and pumps

Emergency aid being delivered in Myanmar

More than one million people have been affected by the worst floods in more than 100 years in Myanmar. The Danish Refugee Council is concentrating its efforts in one of the worst hit regions, Rakhine state.
 
 

Relief work, South Asia

 

Large parts of Myanmar are still under water following the floods two weeks ago caused by the cyclone Komen. More than one million people have been affected by the water and more than 200.000 people have been forced to flee their homes. Luckily the water is regressing in parts of the country, but that unfortunately does not mean, that the disaster will be over.

- We have now reached the most remote villages, where the floods have hit the hardest. Houses, livestock and personal belongings have been washed away and the ricefields are covered by more than half a meter of mud. The harvest have been destroyed in several parts of the country and more than 1,2 million acres of agricultural land have been flooded, says The Danish Refugee Councils Country Director in Myanmar, Anders Bech Tharsgaard.

The Danish Refugee Council are focusing its efforts in the Western state of Rakhine, which are one of the hardest hit places in Myanmar - not least because of its vulnerable coastal setting.

The state was hit by another cyclone in 2012, which cost massive destruction and loss of life. The first wave of work being carried out by the Danish Refugee Council have consisted of handing out emergency packages benefitting thousands of people. They include drinking water, sanitary products, soap and blankets.

The organization has furthermore aided the Myanmar authorities in getting access to the most remote and hardest hit villages. Once the water is receding, the work with reconstruction begins. Infrastructure has been severely damaged and many houses and crops have been washed away by the water.

- Looking at it with a bit longer perspective, one of the things we intend to focus on is providing seed for the farmers, who have lost their crops and cannot afford to plant new crops. Myanmar has undergone a great development in recent years and the floods risk setting this back remarkably. Foreign support is being asked for and is absolutely essential, if the country is to get back on its feet, says Anders Bech Tharsgaard.