Revised Flood Response Plan For Myanmar (August to December 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.
Logistical difficulties have made it difficult for the Government and humanitarian organizations to respond to the most urgent needs of displaced people and other affected people in Chin State, and cold temperatures have further exacerbated the situation for people living in tents and other temporary accommodation. In Magway Region, two of the worst affected townships are Pwintbyu and Sidoktaya. According to RRD, Kale is the hardest hit township in Sagaing Region, with some 78,978 people affected. In Ayeyarwady Region, some 500,000 people were affected or displaced by floods.
On 4 August, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar welcomed international assistance for the flood response. Priority humanitarian needs include food, water and sanitation services, shelter and access to emergency health care. Livelihood support, health and education assistance and other interventions are also needed for the early recovery phase.