Floods & Mudslides Plague People of Myanmar

  09.10.2010    SE Asia | Poverty Reduction | Disaster Relief
Native Missions - Asia
Flood waters in Myanmar

In the aftermath of three days of torrential rains, large scale flooding and massive mudslides are plaguing Myanmar’s northwestern state of Rakhine which borders Bangladesh. Currently, the death toll stands at 63 and some estimate that it will easily exceed one hundred in the next day or two as thousands of people continue to fight for life as they lose their homes and possessions to the unmerciful flood waters.

According to state run media, the deluge dumped over 13.4 inches (34 centimeters) of rain which resulted in mudslides consuming thousands of structures including, homes, schools, businesses, monasteries, roads, and other regional infrastructure. Three bridges in the towns of Mrauk Oo and Kyauk Taw have been swept away leaving thousands of people cut off and stranded.

Food, water, and medical supplies are in short supply and electrical power is virtually non-existent. To combat the devastation, the Myanmar government has given a number of humanitarian organizations permission to enter the disaster area to provide disaster relief by supplying food, clothing, medicine, mosquito nets, water and money. However, the dirt roads have become nearly impassable making the delivery and distribution of the much needed supplies extremely difficult.

Mudslides do not disciriminate, they take from both young and old alike.

According to native missionaries from Freedom From Chains, a Christian missionary and humanitarian organization, a large portion of the region’s hygiene and sanitation infrastructure has been washed away in the flooding. Hundreds of latrines have been destroyed or are currently submerged and a large number of communal water points have been contaminated and been rendered unsafe. This situation greatly increases the risk of the populace contracting water-borne diseases in the next few days.

In addition, farming communities have also been adversely affected by the heavy monsoon rains. Numerous rice seedling nurseries have been decimated and most of the farmers cannot afford to purchase new seed to re-sow their fields once the water subsides.

In neighboring Bangladesh, flooding and landslides killed a minimum of 55 people last week. Large-scale flooding and mudslides are common in Southeast Asia during the monsoon season that typically begins in late may. In the rush increase their standard of living, unwise use of their land and natural resources has resulted in large swaths of forests being razed. This deforestation has caused major soil erosion and greatly increased the severity and frequency of landslides during the monsoon season.

More flooding is expected as the Asian monsoon season lasts from late May until October. This destruction has fluctuated over the past decade in Southeast Asia, at times leaving thousands dead depending on the season.
In response, Freedom From Chains (FFC) is seeking mobilize teams to distribute life saving supplies such as; food, water, soap, blankets, mosquito nets to those affected by the disasters.

Please consider giving a financial donation so we may help those who have lost everything. Every dollar you donate and every prayer you offer will make a lasting difference in the lives of many.

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