Sittwe, May (24)

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that it is still in discussion with the military council in Nay Pyi Taw about providing humanitarian aid to the cyclone-affected areas more than a week after Cyclone Mocha struck Myanmar.

The statement said that UNOCHA is ready to provide humanitarian aid to all the people affected by the cyclone in Rakhine State and Chin State, and based on the discussion with the military council, the details of the two-week distribution plan will be released soon.

As Sittwe and Rathedaung are the hardest hit areas in Rakhine, and destruction of public infrastructure, as well as disruptions to water systems, continue to limit access to clean drinking water in Rakhine, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, especially among the affected population, said the statement on May 21.

In many other townships, including Sittwe, salty water has entered the lakes used for drinking after the storm, and the locals have to pump out the water on their own, said the rescue workers.

An official of a social organization in Rakhine State told Than Lwin Times that the military council has not yet allowed international organizations to help the locals who are having difficulty preventing diarrhea because the transportation of medicines on the ground is restricted.

The military council is distributing clean water in some neighborhoods of Sittwe with a military vehicle and a water truck, but residents say that it cannot cover the entire Sittwe.

Some Rakhine residents and relief workers told Than Lwin Times that they generally need clean drinking water, food, shelter, and medicine.

Coastal villages along the Ah Ngu Maw-Maungdaw Road in Rathedaung and Maungdaw townships have suffered severe damage, including the loss of livestock. And schools in five villages in southern Maungdaw were reportedly destroyed, said the UNOCHA.

It added that partners who already have access are prioritizing the distribution of food and critical relief items where they can, and efforts are also underway to transport additional supplies to address stockpile shortages, pending necessary approvals for movement within and outside the country.

The military council reported that cyclone Mocha claimed the lives of 148 Rakhine State residents as of May 21 evening, while NUG said that over 400 people died because of the cyclone as of May 17.

On May 16, UNOCHA reported that more than five million people in Myanmar’s path of the cyclone had suffered significant damage, and that more than three million of them urgently required humanitarian assistance.

News-Than Lwin Times


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