Three years after cyclone Nargis
Extensive reconstruction programme in Myanmar reaches completion
Cyclone Nargis hit the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar (Burma) on 2nd May, 2008, with winds of up to 190 kilometers per hour. Severe destruction and devastation was caused and 140,000 people were killed or are still considered to be missing. The Order of Malta’s aid and reconstruction programme, ‘Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development’, was active immediately after the cyclone hit and, three years later, has now been completed.
The programme expanded to cover 200 villages and serve more then 120,000 people. All of those villages now have a year-round drinking water supply, thanks to the rehabilitation of ponds and wells and the construction of rainwater collection tanks. To improve maternal and child health, support groups for mothers have been established in all villages and auxiliary midwives have been trained to make sure pregnant women in the villages have access to a safe delivery.
To prepare the population for possible future natural disasters and mitigate their impact, Malteser International, the worldwide relief organisation of the Order of Malta, set up disaster preparedness committees in the most vulnerable villages. These committees have developed plans on how to proceed in case of disaster, and have trained their communities in first-aid and rescue techniques. The teams helped build earthquake- and cyclone-resistant schools and health centres which will also act as evacuation centres in case of emergencies.
Malteser International has been working in Myanmar since 2001.