Thousands of Sagaing Division’s Weather Victims in Need of Aid

By Myat Pyae Phyo 26 April 2016

MANDALAY — Most of the 11,000 locals affected by recent gale-force winds and hailstorms in Sagaing Division are in need of roofing materials, said Willie Frank, director of the divisional government’s Relief and Resettlement Department.

“All eight districts in Sagaing Division have suffered from strong winds. For the time being, we are providing compensation to the families of deceased victims and to homes that have experienced damage or have collapsed from the wind,” Frank said.

The department plans to provide 100,000 kyats (US$86) in compensation to each household that lost a family member and 50,000 kyats to each damaged or collapsed home. It also intends to provide corrugated iron sheets for roofing under an arrangement with the national government.

“What we mainly need are corrugated iron sheets. The wind has destroyed my farm and I have no money to repair my house,” said a villager in Wetlet Township, Shwebo District.

Villages in Sagaing Division saw strong winds and hailstorms on April 22 and 23, which damaged houses and farms in the division. The extreme weather resulted in nine deaths in Sagaing Division alone and a total of 14 across Burma, as parts of Mandalay and Magwe divisions and Shan and Arakan states were also affected by the powerful weather pattern.

“Township authorities have come to our village several times, but we have not yet received any help. We are now [repairing our houses] on our own,” said farmer Maung Tu from Myinkya village in Khin-U Township.

More than 150 households in Pinlebu, Wuntho, Indaw and Katha townships in Sagaing Division’s Katha District were also struck by strong winds. As elsewhere, there have been delays in providing relief to these areas since parts of the Monywa-Katha motorway have been blocked by debris, according to the Katha District Relief and Resettlement Department.