ADRA Myanmar staff gets creative to reach flood victims

SILVER SPRING, Md.—Severe flooding in Myanmar from a heavy monsoon season and Cyclone Komen have affected more than 1 million people, with waters taking lives, inundating homes and businesses and destroying livelihoods since July.

ADRA has already distributed food kits to 400 families by employing creative methods including using a flying fox system to get to families isolated by waters.

“ADRA volunteers have moved about 12 tons of food across the zip line,” said Derek Glass, emergency response coordinator in Myanmar. “They carried food supplies across the river to a truck on the other side so that we could reach the neediest families.”

“Many families are taking shelter in schools and churches,” said Brendon Irvine, ADRA Myanmar Country Director. “As our teams go out and search for ways to reach the hardest hit areas, they are seeing that people are in need of the basics—food, water, and shelter. We will need to urgently work with families so that households can restart their livelihoods.”

ADRA plans to continue response long term. More than 1 million acres of farmland have been destroyed, affecting the livelihoods of many families in 12 out of 14 regions and states including Chin state, Sagaing Region, Magway Region, and Rakhine State, which were declared natural disaster zones by President U Thein Sein on July 31.

“The water rose too fast, so there was no time to take our belongings,” said Daw Tin Thwe, flood survivor from Pyan Thar village in Kalay Township in Sagaing. “We needed to flee for our lives. We stored rice and seeds, and now they are all destroyed. I have 10 acres of paddy fields, and all are destroyed. I don’t know how I will be able to replant. There are 220 households in our village. The whole village is covered completely by water.”

The agency’s field teams are now out assessing the situation in the most affected areas and identifying displaced families. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.