Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Flooding in Myanmar affects one million people

Nearly one million people have been affected by widespread flooding across Myanmar. According to the government, more than 100 people have been killed and over 1.2 million acres of rice fields have been flooded or completely destroyed.

Heavy monsoonal rains coupled with strong winds from Cyclone Komen, which hit the country last week, have caused severe flooding, wind damage and landslides. Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed, trees uprooted, and bridges and roads have been washed away in the torrential flood waters. Emergency evacuation camps have been established to provide temporary shelter for the thousands of families who`ve lost homes.

Twelve of the 14 states and regions in Myanmar have been affected by the floods, with President U Thein Sein declaring four disaster zones – Chin and Rakhine states and Sagaing and Magway regions. Through ChildFund Myanmar`s local partner organisations, ChildFund is providing emergency relief for affected families in Sagaing and Magway.

Kalay is a remote area of Sagaing region close to the border with Chin State. As at 31 July, 15,000 people were living in five relief camps in Kalay. In Magway, where the main transportation system is the Irrawaddy River, 94 villages have been affected by flooding.

“The floods are the worst we have seen in many years. Most of the country is underwater, children and families are living in camps,” says Nini Htwe, ChildFund Myanmar`s Country Representative. “ChildFund is responding by providing emergency food, water and blankets, and we are further assessing the situation to ensure that children and their families are kept safe during this serious emergency.”

ChildFund`s initial emergency response is focused on helping 10,000 people, many of whom are living in relief camps. Each person will receive enough food (rice and beans) to last up to two and a half weeks, during which time it is hoped the flood waters will recede and families can return home. ChildFund will continue to monitor the emergency and provide further assistance if the situation does not improve.

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