Civil Society Groups to Cooperate on Flood Rehabilitation Efforts

By Moe Myint 24 August 2015

RANGOON—Around 50 organizations involved in relief efforts in flood-stricken parts of Burma have agreed to coordinate their efforts toward flood rehabilitation programs in the coming months, according to attendees of a conference held in Sittwe over the weekend.

Dr. Kyaw Thu, director of the Paung Ku consortium of civil society groups, told The Irrawaddy that conference attendees wanted to build on emergency response and information sharing networks developed during the crisis to help villagers in future recovery efforts.

Wunlark Foundation director Khaing Kaung San said that organizations involved in flood relief saw a need for civil society to assist in rehabilitation plans, as the Burmese government did not have the resources to prepare a long-term flood response on its own.

“We don’t want to depend on the government’s resettlement plan, and the rehabilitation period will be more difficult than emergency response, this is why we’re trying to organize,” he told The Irrawaddy.

He added that plans to merge and coordinate civil society rehabilitation efforts were likely to be finalized by the end of August.

According to government statistics, by Monday the floods had affected more than 1.6 million people across 12 states and divisions. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on Friday that nearly 1 million acres of farmland had been damaged since the floods began, with nearly 400,000 households displaced by the deluge.

PanDeikTun, who attended the Sittwe conference as a member of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, said that the local organizations represented would work to coordinate their rehabilitation efforts with international non-government organizations.