Myanmar: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2015
Heavy rains caused floods and landslides in several parts of Myanmar since June 2015. On 30 July, Cyclone Komen made landfall in Bangladesh, bringing strong winds and additional heavy rains to the country, which resulted in widespread flooding across 12 of the country’s 14 states and regions (Ayeyarwady, Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mandalay, Mon, Rakhine, Sagaing, Shan, Yangon). On 31 July, the President declared Chin and Rakhine states, and Magway and Sagaing regions as natural disaster zones.
According to the National Natural Disaster Management Committee (NNDMC), 125 people were killed and some 1.7 million people were temporarily displaced by floods and landslides. Almost all of the displaced people had returned to their villages of origin by the end of September, leaving only about 10,000 people in evacuation centres (mainly in Sagaing Region and Chin State) awaiting relocation. The Government has said it expects most of these remaining displaced people to return to their villages of origin or to be relocated by the end of October, although a portion of these people may be in temporary accommodation for longer, particularly in the case of people who are going to be permanently relocated to new sites.
The NNDMC identified Hakha in Chin State, Kale in Sagaing Region, Pwintbyu in Magway Region, and Minbya and Mrauk-U in Rakhine as the five most affected townships where a total of 229,600 people were affected by the floods. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, over 1.1 million acres of farmlands have been inundated, with more than 872,000 acres destroyed, as of 4 October. So far, 495,000 acres have since been re-cultivated. Damage to crops and arable land will disrupt the planting season and pose a risk to long-term food security.
While the water has receded in most areas, many roads and bridges were destroyed in the worst affected states and regions. The roads in Chin State were particularly badly affected and continue to pose a major logistical challenge for assessments and assistance delivery.
Multi-sectoral Initial Rapid Assessments (MIRA) were conducted in 317 locations of 34 townships in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Chin, Magway, Rakhine and Sagaing, covering close to 200,000 people. Other needs assessments were also carried out in areas not covered by the MIRA assessments in Chin and Rakhine states. According to the Rakhine State Government (RSG), Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Maungdaw and Mrauk-U townships were the most severely affected areas in Rakhine State. In many parts of Rahine State, floods and salt water severely damaged the paddy fields. A major concern remains water contamination, as most villages use water ponds for drinking water and many ponds were flooded and contaminated.(OCHA, 4 Nov 2015)
Six months on from the devastating floods that struck Myanmar, around 400,000 people have received emergency assistance and support in their recovery from the Myanmar Red Cross Society and its partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. At their peak the floods affected over 9 million people across 12 of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions. The floods temporarily displaced over 1.7 million people and destroyed 15,000 homes as well as more than 840,000 acres of agricultural crops.
Between July 2015 and January 2016, over 1,400 Red Cross volunteers and staff from the Myanmar Red Cross Society and Red Cross partners assisted flood affected people across the country. The first phase included evacuations, providing emergency relief such as purified water, food, household items, and shelter materials. Since then, efforts have been focused on supporting the longer term recovery of flood affected communities across the five worst hit regions of Chin, Rakhine, Sagaing, Magway and Ayerwady with livelihood activities, cleaning of contaminated ponds and wells and infrastructure rehabilitation. (ICRC, IFRC, Myanmar Red Cross Society, 29 Jan 2016)
Maps & Infographics
A new village for people displaced by landslides in Mawchi, Kayah State, in 2015, was opened yesterday to house more than 360 people.
The village, which was named “Brighter Future Myanmar” by the local people after the KBZ Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation, which funded the construction of the village, includes 60 houses, one school and one library.
The village is also equipped with two water tanks with a total storage capacity of 8,000 gallons and a pipe system to supply water to each home and one 100 KVA transformer for electrification.
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Ongoing conflicts and droughts exacerbate food needs
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FAO, with funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund, provided emergency livelihood support to 10 000 flood-affected households (around 50 000 individuals) in Sagaing region, Myanmar. Beneficiaries have received livestock and agricultural inputs in advance of the next rainy season. Landless families received either two piglets or ten chickens each, including vaccines and feed for two months. Farming families received agricultural and home gardening kits, including fertilizer, farming tools and vegetable seeds.
LANDSLIDE victims from four villages in Falam Township will be relocated to proposed residential areas that do not overlap with proposed location for a 16-acre sports complex or with a site chosen for the construction of a high school, said Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye in yesterday’s Amyotha Hluttaw session.
The rainy season in Myanmar last year caused serious flooding. Since then, volunteers of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation had distributed rice seeds in Yangon Region's Hmawbi and Taikkyi townships. In mid-May, Tzu Chi volunteers also traveled to Sagaing's Kalay township to visit poor villages. While there, we distributed rice, blankets, and relief aid to the farmers in need.
In April, WFP reached more than 205,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kachin, northern Shan and Rakhine States and flood-affected areas with cash or food assistance.
Over 3,000 people, recently displaced by disasters or conflict, in Kachin and Rakhine States and Mandalay Region received WFP’s life-saving food assistance.
Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world. It is also home to a number of long-running conflicts that exact a human toll. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) places women and girls at the center of humanitarian response. Every year the number and frequency of disasters (whether natural or conflict-related) is increasing, with millions of people displaced from their homes.
Daw Thein Shwe’s house in Taung Ywar Ward appears to be leaning. The roof is patched together with tarpaulin and bamboo and slopes precariously over the single-storey structure. It looks unlikely to withstand a strong storm, let alone the impending monsoon rains. Reflecting on the torrential rains that struck the township of Buthidaung in July and August last year, Daw Thein Shwe expresses her desire to maintain the house. “I don’t know how the future weather conditions will be and so I want to improve the house,” she told FAO.
Life as a widow in Warcha village, Rakhine State is not easy. An Bira Hatu says she cannot afford the cost (around USD25 per month per child) of sending her children to the secondary school in the village down the road, but she hopes this will change next year. Her and her three children aged 10 to 16 rely on food assistance and the income from the children’s casual agricultural labour to survive. “Now we are receiving FAO assistance with goats, we will be able to generate more income.
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NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – United Nations agencies today welcomed the generous contributions made by the Government of Japan to their operations in Myanmar. The four agencies – the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – received a total of JPY 3.76 billion (approximately USD 31.7 million) in contributions.
In March, WFP reached 162,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin, northern Shan and Rakhine States as well as flood-affected people, with cash or food assistance.
In March, more than 52,400 pregnant and nursing women and malnourished children, including from IDP families, received blended food from WFP.
WFP currently requires USD 30 million to meet overall food assistance needs for the next six months.
NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $10 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to rebuild cyclone-damaged community infrastructure and restore livelihoods in villages in Chin state—the poorest and most remote part of Myanmar.
The ADB program in Myanmar has provided loans, grants and technical assistance to grow the country’s economy and improve the lives of people, particularly the poor, women, children and other vulnerable groups.
ADB is supporting Myanmar’s economic and social transition, with development loans and grants amounting to $991.5 million from 2013 to 2015.
The ADB program in Myanmar aims to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. It ranges from transport, energy, and telecommunications to water supply, rural and urban development, skills, and capacity building.
Heavy rains caused floods in several parts of Myanmar since June 2015. It’s even worse that Cyclone Komen made landfall, bringing strong winds and additional heavy rains to the country for several weeks, which resulted in widespread flooding across 12 of the country’s 14 states. More than 1.7 million people were affected and 840,000 acres of paddy fields were destroyed, where farmlands in six states including Rakhine, Ayeyarwady, Bago, Sagaing, Magway and Yangon were severely damaged. Experts forecasted the floods would cause a decline of rice production by 2 million tonnes.
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