Rakhine state in Myanmar is deemed to be the region at greatest risk from natural disasters. Cyclones and floods regularly cause severe destruction in the coastal towns.
Smaller disasters and seasonal fluctuations add to the plight of the local population. The local residents, who live in simple bamboo huts, are often helpless and unprepared in the face of severe cyclones, storms and flooding.
The dramatic impact of cyclone Nargis from May 2008 illustrates the big vulnerability of Myanmars rural and urban population in the face of such catastrophes. An effective disaster preparedness and early warning systems are lacking a systematic contingency plan. Only a basic system of first aid helpers is installed, and remote villages cannot be informed early enough in the case of an emergency. In addition to this, the rural and urban populations access to clean drinking water and health care is severely limited. Moreover, sanitation facilities are lacking almost everywhere, and there are not enough storage facilities available for clean drinking water. So there is a great danger that communicable diseases will cost many people their lives in the wake of a disaster.
For these reasons, Malteser International has been involved since 2005 in disaster preparedness projects in the most vulnerable townships of Rathidaung and Sittwe. Past experience has shown that the population take a keen interest in the analysis, planning, implementation and risk minimisation measures. Even on the part of the state, as well as from other organisations, the project has been viewed with great interest ever since the damage caused by cyclone Nargis.
|Duration:||since June 2005|
|Financing:||Federal Foreign Office of Germany (AA), ADH (Action Campaign Germany helps), private donations|
|Personal:||1 international and 29 local staffs|
|Malteser International:||Sandra Harlass|