Myanmar: Disaster Risk Reduction

Myanmar is one of the countries involved in the United Nations. As a United Nations country Myanmar also concerns with disaster risk reduction like other countries.

Disasters such as earthquake, tsunami, floods, landslide, cyclone, strong wind, lightning, soil erosion, fire, and forest fire, and drought, industrial and technological threats occur in the country almost every year.

For disaster resilience Myanmar had action plan on disaster risk reduction since 2017 entitled “Myanmar Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction (MAPDRR).” It was developed under the guidance of the National Disaster Management Committee. It had laid long-term vision for building resilience by 2030.

State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi said, “Building disaster resilience is not an option. Past events have clearly demonstrated the far reaching, detrimental impact of disasters on hard-won development gains.”

And she added, “I congratulate the National Disaster Management Committee for preparing the Myanmar Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction 2017, which lays out the path that must be followed to make our country disaster resilient. The backbone of our nation is our people and their role in the implementation of the Plan cannot be overstated.”

Then, she invited all people of Myanmar to join with the National Disaster Management Committee to build a truly disaster resilient Myanmar.

People of Myanmar actively responded State Counsellor’s invitation by helping the victims of flood and landslides. They contributed food, clothes and drinking water to the victims of flood in Mon State this year.

This year some States and Regions in Myanmar particularly Mon, Karen, Bago and Mandalay were flooded and had landslides during rainy season due to heavy rain.

The state government’s disaster management fund was spent for the victims.  Officials said that victims of the flooding were aided through the state government’s disaster management fund.

11,076 people from six townships were in need of emergency assistance due to more than a week of continuous heavy rain, said state government officials.

The most heavily affected territories were in Thanphyu Zayap, Mudon, Ye, Kyaikmayaw, Thahton and Beelin townships where records described that a total of 2,053 houses were flooded.

State officials said that flood victims received emergency assistance through the government’s disaster management fund since the flooding began.

“We prepared food for flooding victims since last month. That’s why we were able to provide emergency aid immediately. The fund was set up to allow us to assist flood victims effectively,” said Zin Min Ko, the deputy director of the Mon State government.

Thae Phyu Kon, a village in Poung Township, Mon State, was under the worse condition, at least 33 people dead and more than 160 missing because of a landslide.

The Mawlamyine-Yangon highway was muddy about two feet and closed for most of the day for clear sections. The Mawlamyne-Ye road was in damage due to flooding.

Flood victims said that they received enough assistance through the combined efforts of the authorities, social rescue teams, civil society organizations, and local people.

“I needed assistance when I arrived at the rescue camp, but everything was OK. I got what I needed. It hadn’t rained, so in my thought the water level would go down if the rain started no more again. We would wait and see,” said Ohn Khin, a flood victim from Mudon Township.

MAPDRR have been implementing its action plan on disaster risk reduction and will achieve its vision by 2030.

This article is written for the UN International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction which will fall on October 13.

Fr. Raymond Kyaw Aung