Appeal for Victims of Cyclone Giri

An appeal is being launched following the destructive cyclone which hit Western Myanmar last month. The Rakhine Thahaya Athin (Arakanese Welfare Association) based in Yangon is organizing Emergency Relief Measures. All volunteer organizations and individuals are requested to support these noble efforts.

Contact Addresses:
1) U Khin Maung Soe (President)
Rakhine Thahaya Athin,
No. 115, 1st Floor, Thamin Baran Street,
Near Moon Bakery, Yangon, Myanmar.
E-mail # rakhine.tay@gmail.com
Ph #01-552126

For foreign donors who are having problems transferring money to Yangon can donate to Russa Road Young Buddhist Student Literacy Mission with the undermentioned bank. And the Mission will retransfer your donation immediately to the said Association.

2) Ven. Dr. Nando Batha (Abbot)
Russa Road Young Buddhist Student Literacy Mission,
Bodhisukha Parahita Myanmar Temple,
P.O. Badu, P.S. Barasat,
North 24 Parganas,
Kolkata 700128,
W.B., INDIA.
Ph & Fax + 91-33-25263417,
Mob # + 91-9830276407
E-mail # ndbatha@gmail.com
Blog # www.bmission.blogspot.com

Here is a report on the cyclone By LAWI WENG on Thursday, November 18, 2010:

Shelter Needed for Cyclone Victims

In this photo taken on Oct. 23, storm victims walk on a road blocked by a fallen telephone poll after Cyclone Giri swept through the area, in Kyaukphyu township, Arakan State. (Photo: AP)
In this photo taken on Oct. 23, storm victims walk on a road blocked by a fallen telephone poll after Cyclone Giri swept through the area, in Kyaukphyu township, Arakan State. (Photo: AP)

Thousand of cyclone victims in western Arakan State still face many challenges in daily life as roads remain impassable and the area is only accessible through waterways, according to humanitarian organizations in Burma.

Cyclone Giri struck Kyaukpyu, Myebon, Minbya and Pauktaw townships, western Arakan State on October 22, killing an estimated 57 people (the official death toll is 45), leaving many people homeless and badly damaging buildings and infrastructure, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Nov. 10.

Many people in the 139 villages of Myebon Township still have no shelter even though the cold season is imminent, according to Aye Thar Aung, leader of the Arakan League for Democracy, who traveled to donate food and shelter in Myebon township for nine days from Nov. 9.

“They need food, water, and shelter. But, I urgently request the international community to help provide shelter as the cold season will start soon and people will need to protect themselves,” he said.

According to the report, 101,923 people remain homeless, at least 20,380 houses were completely destroyed and an estimated 260,000 people (52,000 households) have been affected by the cyclone.

About 200,000 people are in need of food assistance: ­100,000 in Myebon, 65,000 in Kyaukpyu, 25,000 in Pauktaw, and 10,000 in Minbya townships.

Crops, fisheries and livestock were lost as the cyclone destroyed 17,500 acres of agriculture lands and nearly 50,000 acres of aquaculture ponds, which provided the main livelihoods for many of the inhabitants.

“They are like birds,” said Aye Thar Aung. “They have food today but they have no idea what will happen tomorrow.”

“They need jobs in the long-term­ as most of their fishing boats were destroyed and they cannot return to work,” he said.

Feeding the estimated 200,000 cyclone victims for the next three months requires 9,870 metric tons of mixed food commodities, according to OCHA.

The World Food Program (WFP) has already completed a food security assessment and has sent 1,367 metric tons (mt) of rice to the affected areas, where a total of 84,000 beneficiaries had already received 784 mt of rice on November 8.

With two key road bridges damaged, much of the affected area is only accessible through waterways. The Department of Relief and Resettlement, Ministry of Social Welfare is operating a boat (2,000 mt capacity) traveling from Rangoon to Sittwe.

Most of the single annual rice crop that was approaching harvesting time was destroyed or damaged. With 70 percent of households depending on livestock as a secondary source of income, replenishing lost stocks and enhancing existing stocks of the most vulnerable households could be an effective alternative to the loss of crops, OCHA said.

Availability of water in the coming months is a major concern as ponds contaminated by debris from the cyclone cannot be quickly replenished.

“The people will have health problems in the long term as they will have to use contaminated water from the ponds,” said Aye Thar Aung.

 




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