Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cyclone Nargis Report

Grassroots HRE responds to Cyclone Nargis in Burma

Three weeks after Cyclone Nargis killed and displaced nearly 200,000 people, the Burmese people are still in great need of assistance. Throughout the Irrawaddy Delta, there are 2.5 million survivors, 70 percent of whom are taking shelter in Buddhist monasteries. Grassroots HRE responded immediately to the cyclone, sending teams of volunteers into Burma to assess the situation in three regions and to distribute food and supplies.

The devastating cyclone is now being followed by subsequent hidden emergencies as a result of continuing rains, limited access to hard hit areas and huge operational constraints imposed by the military government. Donations are still greatly needed to assist in the Cyclone Nargis relief effort, as GHRE and migrant workers in Thailand remain committed to providing aid within Burma. The following is a summary of our assessments in areas severely affected by the cyclone.


Visited on May 23 by a team of 25 students, teachers, and people living near Rangoon University

Specific names and addresses of aid recipients needed to be given in order to pass through security checkpoints; fortunately, one member of the group had family in Labutta, so we had a reason to deliver supplies to the area. The volunteer team brought two trucks of supplies including blankets, clothing and food.

The government has not provided water to survivors, and although local NGOs set up water treatment pumps, many people were staying in temporary shelters an hour’s walk away. Health conditions were deteriorating, largely due to the lack of clean water for personal hygiene.

About 8,000 cyclone survivors had been staying at a damaged monastery, with food and some clothing donated by local NGOs and private donors. While the government set up a temporary shelter in Labutta for 2,000 people, it imposed limits on the number of people per family allowed to stay in the shelter, leaving many without a place to go.

Cyclone survivors were also asked to make their own tents by the military, possibly for the visit of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and his delegation. However, the heavily guarded tents remained empty of cyclone survivors, and aid supplies donated by the U.S. government were speculated to have been in use only by Burmese soldiers. School buildings were being repaired by local residents, but government officials provided no assistance and charged locals a fee for supplies.
State Middle School No. 8, Ward 20 – Hlaing Tha Ya Township
Visited on May 27 by two volunteers
In this area near Rangoon, 157 families were living in a damaged middle school for lack of other shelter. Although three weeks had passed since the cyclone hit, the school had still not been repaired. Private donors have provided food, and UNICEF has provided toilets, but families have not received bedding, clothing or mosquito nets. As there is no treated water, families drink from standing water in a nearby pond, and bathe from a contaminated water trough. During our visit, all families were given a 48-hour eviction notice and told to move to government-run temporary shelters (which can only accommodate 115 families) in an unknown location.
Yay Kyaw Twantay Township, Yangon Division

Visited on May 29 by ten volunteers

Because Yay Kyaw is a remote village accessible only by boat, it received some assistance by UNICEF, but not the military government. However, a sympathetic government official was cooperative during our distribution of aid. Community volunteers from Rangoon organized a clothing drive and distributed 28 bags of clothes to 150 families and rice to 181 families.

Many houses in this village were partially or completely destroyed in the cyclone, and rice fields were entirely destroyed. The clean-up effort in the village is now beginning slowly. There is a lack of tools and manpower, and the village is cut off from roads. Although wells were contaminated, villagers still use them for bathing and possibly drinking.
16)080614 Relief Report 15.pdf
15)080615 Relief Report 14 NewPrt2.pdf
14)080615 Relief Report 14 NewPt1.pdf
13)080612 Relief Report 11 Part3.pdf
12)080612 Relief Report 11 Part2.pdf
11)080612 Relief Report 11 Part1.pdf
10)080607 Relief Report 10 Pub Pt2.pdf
09)080607 Relief Report 10 Pub Pt1.pdf
08)080604 Relief Report 7 Part 1.pdf
07)080601 Relief Report 6.pdf
06)Burmese Cyclone 4.pdf
05)Burmese Cyclone 3.pdf
04)Situatoin Report(Burma's Cyclone 2).pdf
03)Situation Report080523(Burma's Cyclone 1).pdf
02)Military Assistance.pdf
01)Burmese Cyclone (Yay Kyaw Photos).pdf

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