Myanmar

Myanmar: Six months after cyclone Nargis - Malteser International: Provision of safe drinking water still big challenge

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Cologne: Six months after cyclone Nargis devastated large parts of Myanmar, Malteser Inter-national considers and evaluates the success of its work so far. "Especially in the severely affected Irrawaddy Delta, we have been successful in the prevention of communicable dis-eases. And in general people are finding their way back towards a normal life again", reports Roland Hansen, Head of the Asia Department at Malteser International. "Nevertheless, the provision of safe drinking water is still posing problems", Hansen continues. "This is the rea-son why water supply especially for very remote areas remains one of our main focuses."

Another focus is the rehabilitation of social infrastructure. In and around the badly destroyed coastal city of Labutta as well as on Middle Island, Malteser International is rebuilding health centres and schools as well as latrines in order to avoid the spread of diseases. The organisa-tion also rehabilitates ponds and wells and constructs rain water collection tanks. In addition, specially trained voluntary counsellors are offering psycho-social care to the survivors thus helping them to cope with their grief for lost relatives and friends. In the coming weeks and months, Malteser International will help the people living in the disaster region to better pre-pare for future catastrophes by developing emergency plans and building cyclone proof evacuation centres with water supply and latrines.

All told, Malteser International has been providing medical supplies and safe drinking water as well as relief items such as soap, blankets, cooking equipment and mosquito nets to more than 100,000 people. The relief programmes of the organisation are financially supported by ECHO, Caritas, AusAID, UNHCR, DFID, the Canadian organisation CECI and particularly by the German government.

Attention editorial offices: Roland Hansen, Head of Asia Department at Malteser Interna-tional, as well as English speaking staff members on the ground are available for interviews. Please contact ++49 221 98 22 - 155.

In order to continue our work, Malteser International is still in need of donations! To support our work in Myanmar, please consider transferring your donations to:

Donation Account 2020122
Pax-Bank Köln, von-Werth-Str. 25-27, D-50670 Köln, Germany
Sort Code : 370 60 193
IBAN : DE93 3706 0193 0002 0201 22
BIC: GENODED1PAX
Reference : "Myanmar"

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for hu-manitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humani-tarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org