A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Floods brought by monsoon rains that have been pounding parts of Myanmar since late July 2016 affected a number of townships in Sagaing, Mandalay, Bago, Ayeyarwady, Magway and Yangon region and to some extent, Kachin State. According to figures released by the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) on 9 August, at least 377,000 people were displaced from their homes in the six states, with Magway being the most affected area – where some 60,000 people have been displaced. Five people died – two in Sagaing, two in Kachin and one in Yangon. Many schools remained closed across affected areas as floodwater gradually moved south towards the Ayeyarwady Delta.
Over the weeks that followed the initial flooding, it was clear that the swelling of rivers would recede fairly quickly. The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have monitored the situation closely until water levels went back to normal. All the temporary shelters were closed by 28 August, with affected people gradually returning to their villages.
In response to the floods, state and local governments led the response, sandbagging vulnerable areas along river banks and providing food, water, relief items, cash and shelter materials to affected people. The government’s emergency operations centre was not activated and the response is mostly being managed at the state/regional level using existing resources. The government is coordinating with the Red Cross Red Crescent, civil society organizations and other actors who are providing relief supplies including food, water and oral rehydration salts.
By Early October, the rains have lessen in intensity and the water level of previously flooded rivers has started to recede. Once the flooding subsided, the affected people started returning back to their homes and the needs for nonfood items and shelter drastically reduced.
Summary of current response
In order to address the needs of affected people, MRCS launched its operational response plan aiming to cover five regions with 21 townships. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), upon request of the MRCS, allocated CHF 317,098 from the disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) on 19 August to support the National Society response plan aimed at meeting the immediate humanitarian needs affected populations. Under the DREF operation, thus far MRCS has assisted approximately 10,455 people (2,091 families) with hygiene parcels.
A minor adjustments within budget lines was made to the DREF operation through the DREF update issued on 4 October. The revision is mainly trigger by reducing needs for hygiene parcels and an increased focus on unconditional cash grants to enable the affected people to quickly recover and return to home.
Learning from last year’s floods operation, MRCS was well aware of the need to invest sufficient resources and headstart in advocacy work with the local authorities and administration as well as the affected communities. However this process took longer than expected as the intervention was in new areas which were not affected by last year’s floods.
MRCS assessed the needs of the affected communities as recommended by the authorities, followed by relevant advocacy and preparations work with various stakeholders. The process in most of the intervention areas was fairly smooth, with the exception of West Bago where the preparation and advocacy required more time to complete.
The MRCS EOC activated at the onset of the floods was running on a weekly basis until mid-October. After which the EOC was put on standby and operation was carried out following the non-emergency operating procedures of MRCS.