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Cyclone shelter construction stalled 7 years after Cyclone Nargis


Seven years on and cyclone shelter construction has stalled Photo: World Vision

Seven years on and cyclone shelter construction has stalled Photo: World Vision

Only one of 45 cyclone shelters proposed to be built in 2012 have been constructed, this news comes shortly after the 7-year anniversary of the catastrophic Cyclone Nargis.

“54 cyclone shelters were built after Nargis but those are not sufficient to protect 70,000 people from storms. We proposed the ideato higher members of the Ministry for Social Welfare of Resettlement
and Relief (MSWRR), but only one has been built,“ said U Than Soe,Ayeyarwaddy regional officer of MSWRR.

54 cyclone shelters were built in Phyarpon, Daydaye, Bogalay (10,000reported deaths in 2008), Laputta (80,000 reported deaths),Mawlamyaing Kyun and Ngapudaw townships with after 2008international support. The cyclone claimed over one hundred thousand lives.

Half of the 54 shelters built can house 500 people while others hold200 - 300 people; some of the cyclone shelters are also currently used asschools or hospitals.

“The end of the hot season and beginning of the rainy season is whenstorms tend to cross through the Ayeyarwaddy region, so the MSWRR areeducating people through public presentations and by handing out
leaflets on floods and storms,” said U Than Soe.

There are 26 townships in the Ayeyarwaddy region where 6 million people live, according to preliminary census results.

“We thank governments and international organizations for supportingMyanmar people affected by Nargis and supporting a push for democracyand change in Myanmar,” said Environmental Committee (Central) of theNLD in a statement marking 7th anniversary of Nargis.

Cyclone Nargis made landfall on May 2 in 2008 the Ayeyarwaddy regionwas largely unaware leading to a massive death toll.

Relief efforts were hampered by a stubborn military regime that wouldnot let international groups into the country, four days after thestorm it allowed groups to assist the 3.4 million people affected bythe storm, even after groups were allowed in they still were troubledby immigration or denied entry.

The junta claimed that it was able to cater to those affected by thestorms, roughly 209,000 people ended up rebuilding their own homes,US$50 million (out of a requested US$150 million) was received for the
post-Nargis relief effort.Storm damage totalled 62,988,000,000MMK.

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