VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Myanmar Cyclone: New Photos, Report from an Aid Worker
May 27, 2008 by The IRC
|Photos: The IRC|
|International Rescue Committee volunteer Aung Htun U was part of the IRC delivery team that brought critical supplies to a devastated village on Sunday. “Today we left Yangon before dawn to travel to Dedaye Township. It is one of the hardest hit areas in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Division. When we approached the bridge to cross the Pan Hlaing River there were thousands of people standing along the road looking for help. We saw many rotting bodies and animal carcasses in the river and among the bushes too. It was hard to breathe the foul smell. The sight of these floating bodies and the smell is too terrible for us to describe. When we arrived in Dedaye town, we loaded emergency supplies onto boats. From there, it took us one and a half hours to reach Kyonemhaw. We traveled on two boats, 18 feet long and three feet wide, as they are able to crisscross the narrow river lanes. Our team chose Kyonemhaw among other affected villages because only a few local groups had visited this devastated place and the people there are in dire need of assistance. We eventually arrived in the village which is on the bank of a small river and very close to paddy fields. The village has only muddy footpaths. We unloaded our supplies at the monastery, in the middle of the village. Hundreds of people gathered to receive donations of water, food, medicines and clothing. The villagers are poor farmers and they were so eager to receive help -- anything at all. They are really struggling. The survivors told us that the village used to have a population of more than 1,000 people, but nearly 300 people died in the storm.” To learn more: Visit our Myanmar Cyclone special report at theIRC.org/myanmar. To help: Make an urgent gift here or speak up for for Burmese cyclone victims here.|
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