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Burma left to count cost of flood disaster

(PHOTO: DVB)

Recent monsoonal floods and landslides have taken a dreadful human toll, leaving at least 117 dead and 1.6 million people displaced, in twelve states and regions across Burma.

In addition, thousands of domestic animals and livestock were also killed in the natural disaster, combined with the widespread destruction of agricultural infrastructure, that has resulted in billions of kyat worth of damage.

Speaking to reporters in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, Dr Khin Zaw, permanent secretary of Burma’s Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, said that nearly 20,000 farmyard animals, plus an additional 200,000 chickens were lost in the floodwaters and landslides which affected many parts of the country since June.

He said that, according to data from the Animal Husbandry and Veterinarian Department, a total of 5,701 cows; 134 mythuns (Chin cows); 3,005 buffaloes, 4,341 sheep and goats; 6,684 pigs; 3,983 ducks; 29 horses, and 218,706 chickens were killed in flood-related incidents.

In addition, 315 animal housings, 22,488 viss [1 viss = 1.63 kg] of animal feed, and 566 beehives were lost, he said, for a total value of some 5.416 billion kyat (US$4.33 million).

The government estimates that 604 miles of rural road and 824 bridges were destroyed across the country. The costs for repairing the roads alone will cost over 22 billion kyat, it said.

The ministry’s permanent secretary went on to say that over 28 billion kyat would be required to repair and compensate for damages to water supply, health, electricity, housing and rehabilitation.

He concluded, saying that all sums had been fully budgeted and funds requested through an emergency presidential fund.

President Thein Sein on 24 August 24 said the total cost of the devastation caused by this season’s floods would be in the vicinity of 165 billion kyat, or $132 million.

In its initial response plan released this week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) called for a humanitarian response of $75.5 million to cover the needs of more than 580,000 people in six states and regions affected by the floods.

Burma’s National Natural Disaster Management Committee has identified Hakha in Chin State; Kale in Sagaing Division; Pwintbyu in Magwe Division; and Minbya and Mrauk-U in Arakan as the five most affected townships, where a total of 229,600 people were directly affected.

 

Read more about Burma’s flood crisis 2015