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
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Iraq: The humanitarian situation in besieged Fallujah continues to deteriorate. Supply lines have been cut off since December, when government forces surrounded the city. Islamic State is reportedly preventing people from leaving. Prices of basic food stuffs are 500% above December prices for the third consecutive month. Acute shortages of food, medicine and fuel, as well as cases of starvation and suicide, have been reported.
WFP is the recognized global leader in the fight against hunger. In this role, WFP is committed to meeting the needs of the people it serves with the most effective support, and cash-based transfers (CBT) is the reflection of the progress made in innovative delivery of food assistance in an everchanging world.
Humanitarian organizations are currently provding assistance to over one million people in Myanmar. This includes 460,000 people who were severely affected by the devastating floods in July/August 2015 who continue to require support, particularly in the food security sector.
KACHIN AND SHAN
IDPs in camps in Rakhine State urgently need repairs to their shelters ahead of the rainy season
Dry season water shortages in Rakhine State
Thousands displaced following renewed clashes in northern Shan State in February and March
Majority of people in flood evacuation sites have now been resettled, but over 3,000 remain displaced
Major assessment by FAO and WFP shows that food security and livelihoods are still at risk following 2015 floods
The ICRC as a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organizazion continues to help those affected by the armed conflict, other situations of violence and natural disasters where it has an operationel presence. Wherever possible, activites are carried out with its partner, the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS).
Below is an overview of the ICRC's work in Myanmar during 2015.
Living on the banks of the Chindwin River in Myanmar's Sagaing region, Daw Nye Mya (60) reports that she "had never seen flooding as bad" as the floods which swept through her village in July and August 2015.
When the floods first hit, she and her three daughters fled to the hills with only the clothes on their backs. The villagers from Yin Yein used small boats to ferry the children and elderly first and took their valuable livestock with them. A month later a second wave of flooding followed.
Context: Despite recent progress, undernutrition rates in Myanmar continue to be among the highest of the region. According to the MICS 2009-2010 more than one third of all the children under five (35 percent) are undernourished and too short for their age1. Micronutrient deficiencies are also common in Myanmar, further adding to the burden of malnutrition.
Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation always helps those who are in need, no matter where they are in the world. In Myanmar, serious floods struck many areas in June last year. Since then, Tzu Chi has held 44-time rice seed distributions for the farmers affected by floods. The volunteers had to prepare well beforehand, to ensure the success of each distribution.
Giving farmers renewed hope
The after effects of a natural disaster can be felt in abundance. In 2015, Cyclone Komen caused flooding and landslides across the country’s states and regions. Reports of gender-based violence (GBV) increased, and as the capacity for local organizations to provide support was limited, UNFPA deployed a psychosocial support training specialist into the cyclone hit areas. The training was designed to enable local organizations and networks, regardless of their specific sector of response, to assist women in critical conditions in flood affected areas across Myanmar.
Torrential rains in July/August 2015 triggered by Cyclone Komen brought devastating damages to 12 of 14 states/regions in Myanmar, leaving more than one hundred people dead, cumulatively 400,000 households displaced, 1,000,000 acres of farmland damaged due to floods and landslides.
After the emergency phase, in which Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) distributed solar lanterns in the affected villages, PWJ implemented recovery assistance in Magway Region, Ayeyarwady Region, and Kayin State during September 2015 – January 2016
Clashes in Shan displace more than 6,700 people in February and March
GoB closes 25 IDP camps in Rakhine following the resettlement of 25,000 IDPs
USG provides nearly $20 million to date in FY 2016
Humanitarian needs in Burma persist due to ongoing localized conflicts, prolonged population displacement, and continued vulnerability to natural disasters, such as drought.
This issue includes:
Snapshot 16 – 22 March
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Snapshot 9 – 15 March
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UN report calls for urgent actions to tackle rising urban disasters in Asia-Pacific
Like so many communities in rural Myanmar, the 114 families in Tha Koar village depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The village is in central Rakhine state, one of the six states or regions worst affected by the floods that swept through Myanmar between July and October 2015. In this village alone, nearly one-third of the houses were destroyed in the floods, 45 buffalo and cows were killed and 90 percent of the paddy crop was wiped out.
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A low rumbling sound came down into the mountain valley. Instinctively, Felista Vung Lam Nian gathered her two boys and two girls and ran as fast as they could up the mountain to St. Francis of Xavier’s, the local Catholic Church.
She along with the other 29 families found shelter at the Church for the first weeks after the landslide which demolished all but two of the homes in this little hamlet outside of the remote village of Tonzang, 5 hours west of the Diocesan seat of Kalay in northwest Myanmar, near the border with India.