Monsoon Floods Update - as of 26 August 2019
The immediate emergency caused by monsoon flooding in mid-August in Myanmar has passed for the time being, with fewer than 4,500 people remaining in temporary evacuation sites across the country. But continued vigilance is advised as the weather forecast predicts that heavy rains will continue throughout what remains of the monsoon season.
As of 26 August, more than half the currently displaced people are in Bago region, where more than 2,500 people were still unable to return home. All evacuation sites in Mon State that had been opened are now officially closed. Magway region has eight remaining sites, while one site remains open in Kayin State and two in Mandalay region. Only 12 sites remain open nation-wide.
Most essential needs were covered by the quick interventions of local communities and national and state first responders, including the Fire Services, the local administration and the Military – as well as the Myanmar Red Cross Society, monasteries, churches and other faith groups, civil society and private individuals.
A number of international agencies also responded to specific gaps. UNICEF, for example, assisted with the provision of containers for storing water, water purification supplies and hygiene kits. WHO also assisted with water purification supplies, emergency medical kits and by sharing technical guidelines on snake bite management with health partners. WHO also supported the mobilization of mobile health clinics. UNFPA supplied dignity kits, including hygiene items specifically for women, as part of the response.
Much of the work will now focus on the recovery phase, barring any deterioration later in the monsoon season. A number of agencies are currently active in needs assessments. For example, in Mon State, more than 500 schools were closed due to the flooding, and more than 170 houses were destroyed. Crop harvests and livestock will have been lost, so farmers will need support to recover their livelihoods.