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Myanmar: Delta Region Hit by Worst Flooding in a Decade

Flooding has become an annual tragedy in Myanmar and August is the middle of rainy season. Due to heavy rains, flooding has hit the delta region of the Ayeyarwaddy division.

About 727 villages have been flooded and more than 30,000 people in Pathien, Ayeyarwaddy have sought shelter in 207 emergency camps. About 95 schools have been closed during what has been the worst flood of the decade [my]. Aside from the delta region, the flooded areas also include Yangon and Lashio in Shan State.

Many netizens have shown their concern not only for the flood victims but also on the potential loss in production of rice, as nearly 530,000 acres of rice paddies [my] were flooded.

Myanmar's worst flooding in a decade. Photo by Nay Myo Zin, via Facebook.

Myanmar's worst flooding in a decade. Photo by Nay Myo Zin, via Facebook.

Mg Ygn is worried [my] that the price of rice might increase in the coming days:

So the price of rice is going to be up.

Nilar Aye expressed [my] concern for farmers whose lands are now managed by cronies:

Today's situation is worrisome for Myanmar. Save the farmers from natural disasters and threat of cronies who unfairly took ownership of the farms.

A number of volunteer groups started a relief drive for victims. Some groups collected online donation form overseas Burmese while others went [my] directly to the affected areas to assist in the emergency camps. Nay Myo Zin asked [my] for contacts in the flooded villages via Facebook:

The reader, kindly share and link to volunteers around Thar Paung to call us on Monday Night.

Which roads are flooded? Where should we transfer to boats? What we should buy as first priority aid? What would be the best way for relief? Please contact me, locals from Thar Paung. I'll definitely try my best to bring all.

Online Volunteers of Disasters Recovery for Myanmar (OVDR4MM) which played a great role in helping Pakkoku flood victims last year, wrote [my] about the situation of some residents in relief centers:

90% of Thar Paung town is severely suffering from the flood. The victims have to seek refuge in the limited space in Buddhist monasteries and sports halls. It's very hard to have regular meals because of flood around the town. People are in dire need of clean water. The rain continues and flood could worsen.

We are contacting the groups which can give quick relief and representatives from emergency camps in order to be certain that the collected money will go to affected areas.

As only local individuals and volunteers groups are providing aid to affected areas, some questioned [my] the stand and silence of some NGOs which are usually vocal about many issues besetting Myanmar.

Khon Ja uploaded photos of the Myit Sone Dam project which was supposedly suspended because of the protests of residents. The dam, according Khon Ja, could worsen the flooding in the country:

I denied it's the natural disaster. Last year, Pakokku suffered flood. During current rainy season, all places throughout Ayearwaddy river are flooded. It will also happen in the future.

Both sides of In Mai (or) May Kha have been excavated for 3 furlongs in width and 30 miles in length. It directly affected the lives of many people near Ayeyarwady river.

Nay Myo Zin, a former military officer, blamed [my] the junta for the destruction of the country's natural resources:

I hate from my heart every ignorant governor who destroyed our natural resources, natural forests and the rivers. I do not wish for them to suffer what the people are currently experiencing but I'm deeply sad and can't forgive them in any ways. The more I see the small faces of poor Myanmar ethnics suffering from the floods, natural disasters, and hunger, the more I can't forgive them.

Flood in Myanmar's delta region. Photo by Nay Myo Zin, via Facebook.

Flood in Myanmar's delta region. Photo by Nay Myo Zin, via Facebook.

Tala Chan Mon urged the government to improve the country's drainage system:

We need a stronger drainage system. It's normal to see floods during heavy rains. But we need better flow of rivers, streams and drains to make rain water flow into sea quickly.

Sunney Hla requested for a long term plan to reduce the risk of flood:

The Emergency Early Response Team is not enough. We need to do mitigation and adaptation steps as part of a long term plan.

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