In May 2008, Cyclone “Nargis” that hit Myanmar killed with missing over 130 thousand which resulted in great damage in excess of 2.5 million victims. The population of Southern District of Yangon, Ayeyarwady District is 13 million. Especially, the damage of this area was heavy, with 95 percent of houses being destroyed (from statement the Government of Myanmar). JEN dispatched their staff to this area. After the survey, along with the distribution of emergency relief supplies, JEN conducted a disaster prevention awareness program. Being prepared for the next cyclone that may come again in the future unified the residents tightly.
The cyclone Nargis has produced an unprecedented level of damage for those living in Myanmar, and in response to this, JEN has been providing assistance for their eventual self-reliance. Needs of the affected people vary with time and place, however JEN targets those that live in remote places, where assistance does not necessarily reach often. Immediately after the cyclone, our priority was to distribute housing. Damage was most severe in Yangon Division and Ayeyarwaddy Division, where 95% of buildings were completely destroyed, leaving no available accommodation for the people. Given this, JEN has distributed shelter kits to 4,500 households over one year. One year after the cyclone, nearly all the needs for housing has been fulfilled, however reconstruction of agriculture and fishery sector was lagging. This situation of assistance-dependency continues to this day. The education sector was also badly hit, and nearly 2,800 schools have destroyed. Moreover, it was found that fear of cyclones remain strongly among the Burmese villagers. Based on this finding, JEN has constructed 2 cyclone-shelter type schools that can act as an evacuation shelter in emergency times. In addition, JEN is conducting Disaster Risk Reduction workshops, so that villagers can evacuate and survive in times of emergency.
After the survey began, we learned that in the outskirts villages of the southern district, Ayeyarwady, a large number of houses were blown. Most of the people have lost the place to live with the bad access, support being delayed and forced to have a difficult life. After the disaster, the rainy season will arrive soon, concerns were that the secondary disaster to agriculture and their living. Therefore, among3000 households of 35 villages at the delta area of Ayeyarwady, shelter kit was provided. After 5 months of the cyclone, the needs toward shelter is still high, JEN continued the distribution project and added another 1,500 household to distribute shelter kit.
Using the distributed shelter kit, villagers began to collaborate with their neighbors to construct the shelter. Villagers strengthened their unity and began to start their life before the cyclone. Moreover, JEN distributed 10 thousand sheets of tinplate to the school. Due to the cyclone, the school has been badly damaged and lost the roof, so the children are now able to study comfortably.
After a year from the cyclone, the housing needs have been fulfilled however we learned that the fear towards the cyclone still remains. Therefore, JEN constructed two cyclone shelter type schools, so that the victims can feel secure life and during the disaster it will become shelter. The appointed two schools were badly damaged and chosen where aid supply did not reach. These elementary schools were built as a cyclone shelter so that the villagers can refuge and attached toilets and drinking water supplier.
Myanmar has not experienced large natural disasters, so they do not understand the concept of preventing disasters. Therefore, they learned prevention by evacuation drill and editing handbooks to prepare for the next natural disaster. In the handbook, a map was drawn by the villagers walking through their village. It has included everything that they learned from their experience, so that they will never repeat the tragedy when a cyclone will come again. Other than, the villagers set up a committee for preventing disaster and reinforce the prevention plan by themselves, so that they can have a secure life.
|Country Name||Union of Myanmar|
|Population||5,3220,000 (Myanmar Government Statistical Year Book 2004)|
|Ethnic Groups||Burman (Around 70%)、Various other ethnic minorities|
|Religions||Buddhist (90%)、Christian (4%)、Muslim (3%)|