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These relief stories and photos come from the Yangon and Sittway Diocese of the Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM). Thanks to the Office of the CPM for sharing them.
Hope and Care for Flood Affected People in Delta
“She is not suffering from serious illness but I can sense the worries in her fading eyes,” said Dr. Phyu Phyu Thant, after she has examined an eighty-year-old woman in Kyaung Daw village. Dr. Phyu continued to say that the elderly people felt stressed because of immobility during the nearly three week-long flood. Their experience told them that the flood this time took longer than other years and could cause lots of difficulties in their livelihood.
The eight-member medical team treated eighty-eight people, twenty-seven men and sixty-one woman during their trip. Many people are suffering from aches and pains but there is no case of Dengue Haemorraghic fever. The shallow wells are supplying fresh water now but the medical team is worried about the personal hygiene of the people.
The village is accessible by water-way only from Pantanaw, a bigger town, one-and-half hour drive from Yangon. The levees are destroyed in most parts and motor cars cannot travel on them anymore.
Parish Priest Rev. Myint Htoo said, “It is a struggle to send children to school as we have to hire a boat. They used to walk to school but the levees have become very narrow because the flood has broken them. There are also deep holes in the middle of the road. It is just impassable for walking.”
The whole village is covered with foot-high mud, some two or three feet high in some places. The worst thing is the paddy fields and the betel leaf farms being covered by mud brought by the flood The tender betel leaf trees all died and can be replanted only in November. They cannot sell the leaves for another four months, which will bring difficulties in feeding their families.
Like most villages and towns the road to recovery will take a long time.
Hurting Man Brought Relief by Church
Fifty-year old U Maung Pon has just been discharged from Sittway hospital when the floods covered their small village in Kyauktaw township, a busy transaction in Rakhine state. In his escapade from the rising flood, he began to experience excruciating pain from his wound. He has undergone a hernia operation and been home for a few days but the flood disrupted his recuperation.
Again he had to come to Sittway, two and a half hour’s drive from Kyauktaw. The whole city was crowded, no place for his family to put up while he is taking treatment. His wife, four sons and a daughter had to find a place to stay in Sittway as their village is already underwater.
Fortunately, they found refuge in Sittway diocesan guest-house. This place offers a sleeping space for guests and students, with a very small daily fee of 1000 kyats (1USD) per person. The family is grateful for this offer and is able to take treatment from the hospital. He is still taking treatment currently, with care and love shown to him by the people in the diocese. Some well-wishers provided much needed cash to his family also.
“I will never forget this care in our time of need,” U Maung Pon said with tears in his eyes. The diocese has been a great help to needy people in the past and is still providing help where it can be.
Sustainable Farm Workers Rescue Pigs
Kyaw Hla and his colleague gaped at the rushing, rising flood from the stream from his hut in the farm. He saw the fish farm already submerged but then he remembered the pigs. He got a row-boat quickly and grabbed the pigs. After putting them in large jute-bags, he put them in the boat to row along the stream and crossed the widening Kaladan river. Fortunately, the pigs and Kyaw Hla and his colleague reached the safe place in Paletwa.
About ten days after the water receded, the water in the stream still rushed by with strong current. One could just imagine how Kyaw Hla would have been frightened by it as he crossed the river with his precious cargo. The fish cannot be recovered, like many plants and small teak trees, but the pigs are now safe.
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