India, Myanmar floods

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Floods in India and Myanmar have affected millions of people as World Vision worked with local governments and other organisations to deliver aid.

More than 10 million people have been affected in India alone, and 200 killed, while the UN reports 1.1 million people in Burma have been affected, with another 103 killed.

Rain has been falling since July and worsened as Cyclone Komen made landfall in coastal Bangladesh this month, causing heavy rainfall, flash floods and landslides in different parts of the northwestern regions and states in Myanmar, and Bengal in India.

Win Zin Oo, World Vision Myanmar’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs director, said: “Naturally, the flood from upper Myanmar will flow down to lower Myanmar. There is a big chance that the flood in lower Myanmar will worsen within two weeks to one month.”

Late Friday night, the Myanmar government declared a state of emergency in the regions of Sagaing and Magwe, and the Rakshine and Chin states. The relentless monsoon rains have caused ravaging floodwaters sweeping through houses, farmlands, bridges and roads. 

The weather has hampered relief efforts. In Myanmar, one of the most affected areas - Sagaing region - remains submerged and can only be accessed by helicopter. More than 278,000 ha of farmland has been damaged and 240,000 households displaced.

World Vision’s relief response will target an initial 65,270 people, and include:

  • 2.4M water purification sachets provided by WV Myanmar to UNICEF and other relief organisations for distribution
  • 350 family kits, including a bucket with lid, water filter, tarpaulin sheet, kettle, knife and plastic mats, distributed in Mogaung, Kachin state.
  • 500 family kits donated by DFAT that arrived this week, and are now on their way to field distribution in Pwintbyu.  

In India, the government has said that so far 108,000 houses and over 210,000ha of crops have been completely damaged. Two World Vision programs in West Bengal are in some of the worst affected areas, and 333,636 people from 1,165 villages have been affected by the floods in Bardhaman district. Most of the area is still fully submerged under water with the water levels showing no signs of receding.

Purbasthali block, Haldipara village – which is about 90km from Bardhaman district – is among the worst hit. There are two relief camps housing about 4,500 families, and some people have sought shelter in nearby railway stations.

World Vision India began immediate relief by distributing food to affected families. They are also planning to help 100,000 people with immediate needs and long-term support with shelter and livelihood assistance. Staff are continuing to assess affected areas to help children and families.

In Bangladesh, the government has not declared an emergency. World Vision will continue to monitor the situation as flooding has been ongoing since June and may be prolonged due to the monsoon.

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TOP: A makeshift bridge is the only way in or out of Amatya village, in India, after the sole road was washed out. MIDDLE: In Myanmar roads have been washed away or destroyed by landslides. BOTTOM: Paddy fields around Amatya, India, have been flooded, and the only road to the village is washed out in parts.

World Vision has operated in India since 1951 and is now in 25 states covering 163 districts.

The national office is in Chennai, with nine monitoring offices in New Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Bhopal, Lucknow and Chennai. World Vision has 1,900 staff working on its Indian operations.

World Vision has been working in Myanmar since 1991, with current operations in 11 out of 14 states/regions. Programs span education, health, agriculture, livelihoods and child protection, amongst other areas. A microfinance program began in 1998, and now boasts 46,000 clients.

World Vision also has a significant disaster response capability, with pre-positioned supplies in warehouses in Yangon and Mandalay. Community-based disaster risk reduction is an increasing emphasis in our work. World Vision's 950 staff and 3,000 volunteers work at the community level to build capacity across a range of technical areas. Last year, World Vision's work reached over two million people in Myanmar.