Myanmar floods: Helping communities to recover
- Mrauk-U, the old capital of Rakhine state, is one of the townships most affected by the floods, with many areas inundated. The floodwaters have swelled the country’s major river systems.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- The city center of Mrauk-U, usually a destination in November, December and January for tourists who come to visit temples, was submerged in water during the floods.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- Due to widespread damage to transportation structure, such as roads and bridges, communications, some areas have been cut off from access.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- Many people had to leave their homes when floods began, and sought refuge in schools and monasteries.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- In the first few days after cyclone Komen, the ICRC and the Myanmar Red Cross distributed essential items, such as blankets, mats and lamps to 3,700 people in 14 evacuation centers. This was done in consultation with the authorities and community leaders to improve the lives of all the affected communities.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- Much of the basic infrastructure has been destroyed. “Together with the Myanmar Red Cross, we are mobilizing our operational capacity to support the relief efforts. As families go home, we are providing practical support to both the clean-up efforts and to assist the hardest hit families in re-establishing their livelihoods,” said Juerg Montani, head of the ICRC in Myanmar.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- Distribution of essential items (blankets, mats and lamps) around Mrauk-U township with the Myanmar Red Cross.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- “Many paddy fields have been flooded. People will not have a good harvest in December and as a consequence, many daily workers will lose their job,” explained Oscar Susanto, an ICRC delegate in charge of relief in Mrauk-U. As an urgent measure, the ICRC distributed rice for three days to 7,500 vulnerable people in villages in and around Mrauk-U.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
- Clean up work has started after the floods. As the water recedes, the focus will shift to contributing to the recovery of local communities. Together with the Myanmar Red Cross, the ICRC’s priority will be restore water sources, such as wells and ponds; clear up debris and rebuild community infrastructure through cash for work projects; and later on, support activities that will improve communities’ livelihoods. “People will need to find ways to restore their economic activities. It is key that we help them,” concludes Oscar Susanto.CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Oscar Susanto
More than one million people, according to the Myanmar Government, have been affected by the floods, which have impacted Myanmar since they began in mid-July.
The ICRC has stepped up its relief efforts, in close cooperation with the Myanmar Red Cross and other Red Cross Movement partners, focusing its work in Rakhine state where it has a strong operational presence, owing to the consequences of the outbreak of intercommunal violence in 2012.