Situation report – rebuilding livelihoods during the dry season

Report
from Church World Service
Published on 29 Nov 2013 View Original

In August and September, Eastern Myanmar experienced an unusual monsoon season with three heavy rainfalls that led to severe flooding, which not only destroyed homes, but also livelihood and water supplies. The main consequence is an increased level of vulnerability with high risk of food shortages, water and sanitation issues and subsequent health risks.

During the past months, our partners – Shwe Hinthar (SHT) and Huu Pho Kapaw (HPK) – have made important progresses in the distribution of rice and sesame seeds to the affected farmers in several townships and villages (see table 1 and 2 below).

SHT Rice seeds distribution list

KyaikMaYaw Township ChaungHnitGwa – 244 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township KyoneKwel – 128 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township YayPuKawtSud -194 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township NgaPuInn – 56 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township PharThein – 83 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township LaMuKho - 312 Farmers KyaikMaYaw Township NgaPyayMa – 223 Farmers Total 1,240

HPK Sesame seeds distribution list Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – kyauk Ke Kone: 33 farmers Ya Thayt Township – Be Sa Khat: 6 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – Shwe Doe: 35 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – Mingalar Kone: 2 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – U chon Kone: 6 farmers Nat Chaung Ah Lel Township – Tha Min Lit: 22 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – Thone Tie: 10 farmers Ya Thayt Township – Mel Tha Yaw: 11 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – Kyar Inn Gyi: 25 farmers Kyar Inn Shwe Doe Township – Shwe Lin: 7 farmers Total 157

Farmers who received assistance have started a new cultivation. Rice farmers who had the chance to select their own choice of seeds through the cash-for-seed program are satisfied about the quality of the current yield. However, if rice is growing well, with the dry season coming ahead, they face the challenge of water supply that could put them at risk of loosing all their crops (See photo on the left with rice plant and cracked land).

Dry season cropping can be more expensive for the farmers as it requires investment of securing constant water source (with investment for water pump), and fertilizers, and therefore, it is difficult for poor farmers to afford to cultivate in dry season. However, investment support for dry season will allow one more cultivation cycle for them, which will reduce the likelihood of food insecurity in future.

As the water supply situation has been anticipated, CWS and its partners have done need assessments in consultation with local people to identify needs. In the coming two months, CWS’s partners will be distributing water pumps to villages under the supervision of the community-based organization, and with training opportunities given by the partners. The expected distribution is detailed in table 3.

Water Pump Project

Township Village Pump Quantity KyaikMaYaw PhaYarKone 2 KyaikMaYaw MaYanKone(Mon) 1 KyaikMaYaw ThaYatKone 2 KyaikMaYaw KawSut 2 KyaikMaYaw NaungNaungKone 1 KyaikMaYaw YaeKyawGyi 1 KyaikMaYaw MaYinKone 2 KyaikMaYaw WarPyanKone 2 KyaikMaYaw KanNar 2 KyaikMaYaw NgaPyayMa 1 KyaikMaYaw KyatKhatKone 2 KyaikMaYaw KyonKwel 2 Total 20

In addition, the partners have mobilized young community member to set up a monitoring group. The group will be in charge of checking the project progress, ensuring that all farmers have fair access to our assistance, verifying the proper use of assistance, reporting any abuse, and evaluating the overall farmers’ satisfaction with the distribution process.

CHALLENGES

The seasonal aspect of cropping is a crucial element as some famers started planting immediately, while some others preferred to wait for the dry season. That applies mainly for farmers whose lower level fields are at risk of potential floods if more heavy rains are to come.

Working in this region is full of challenges; especially regarding the authorization to operate. We need to submit request to the local authorities whose response take some time. CWS-Asia/Pacific keeps working with the local government, submitting the required documentations in order to secure our current response.

NEXT STEPS

During the first phase of the response, CWS-Asia/Pacific and its partners mainly focused on the most severely flood-affected area of Kyainseikgyi Township and included food aid to 568 families (2,798 individuals).

The second phase focuses on assistance to affected-farmers in a further four townships in Karen and Mon State, along with Bago district as the heavy rains in 2013 had a devastating impact on the targeted townships. CWS limits the assistance to 2 acres of farmland as the project focuses on poor farmers only, to enhance food security

While the seeds and cash-for-seeds distribution is almost over, CWS-Asia/Pacific and its partners have anticipated the upcoming dry season with need assessment for water pumps, power tillers and fertilizers. The heavy flooding has forced farmers to replant their farms out of season. This may mean that water will be a critical factor for the success of the crops as these farmers are dependent on monsoon rain for monsoon paddy. CWS will provide a water pump per village to ensure access to critical water needed by poor farmers who cannot afford their own pump. The engine can also be used as a power tiller to accelerate land rehabilitation. A village committee will manage the use and good maintenance of this material.

CWS is working with Huu Pho Kapaw, Shwe Hinthar and Bilin Network who are all members of Myanmar NGO Contingency Plan (MNGO-CP) – a network of local NGOs in Myanmar.

For more information about the appeal, please visit ACT Alliance website: http://www.actalliance.org/resources/appeals/MMR132_MyanmFloods.pdf/view

For further information, please contact:

Sithu Wai, Program Manager / Head of CWS Myanmar Office T. +95-95044-713 e-mail: sithucws@gmail.com

Takeshi Komino, Head of Emergencies, CWS-Asia/Pacific T. +66-2-2146077, F. +66-2-2146078, e-mail: takeshi@cwspa.org.pk