The river rose slowly at first. So slowly, in fact, that recent flooding along the Irrawaddy River didn’t raise concern until it suddenly became too late to save homes and businesses.
“We spoke with one woman in Maubin Township who told of moving to higher ground when her house started falling into a branch of the Irrawaddy River as its banks eroded around her,” CWS Country Representative Yoko Ito said while surveying flood damage in Myanmar (Burma). “Because the flooding in the delta region has been slow onset, the woman could move her home and noodle shop.”
You understand that disaster preparation saves lives. Thanks to your generous support, Week of Compassion is able to help people, like this businesswoman and others, find homes along the twists and turns of the Irrawaddy through the support of CWS. Working alongside individuals, communities, partners and others, CWS works to bring awareness of the risks of disaster, mitigating potential dangers.
More than 1.6 million people have been severely affected by monsoon floods and landslides, and now, many affected families in the delta region are being offered much needed life and livelihood assistance as their rice stores and government rations are running out. This lifesaving assistance is thanks to the presence of Week of Compassion, CWS, the Myanmar YMCA and AmeriCares.
Firsthand accounts from CWS staff highlight the acute need for safe water: people are drinking and cooking with rain water, but there is not nearly enough. Alarmingly, they are forced to supplement the rain water with unsafe flood and river water. One especially dangerous aspect of this water is that it is contaminated by flooded pit latrines and other unsafe toilets.
Your support to Week of Compassion improves the situation. Working together with local partner YMCA, we have been providing:
- food security assistance to 8,800 people
- necessary household items to 6,400 people
- water, sanitation and hygiene to 4,400 people
- early recovery and livelihood restoration to 46,200 people
To help reduce the risk of future disasters, 60 communities with about 70,000 people in Maubin, Pathein and Ngapudaw townships in the Ayeyarwady region will receive assistance with emergency preparedness and contingency planning. Evacuation centers will also receive food and hygiene materials.
The U.N. estimates that more than 80 percent of all people affected by disasters live in Asia. Thanks to your support and partnership, Week of Compassion is able to work with the most vulnerable communities to create lifesaving safeguards during the most devastating natural disasters.
THIS WEEK'S RESPONSES:
DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
Middle East and Europe
Hungary, Refugee Response
Serbia, Refugee Response
California, Fire Relief
DEVELOPMENT, LONG-TERM RECOVERY AND REHABILITATION
Oklahoma, Storm Relief