About Us

We are a group of volunteers who come together to provide relief assistance to the victims of Cyclone Giri in Rakhine State, Myanmar, under the guidance of Mahamuni Buddhist Society Sayardaw U Thupiya.

Our group is made up of students and professionals from Myanmar in Singapore including the cyclone effected areas in Rakhine. We have direct contacts with relief groups in cyclone effected areas and are able to provide direct assistance to Cyclone Giri victims.

If you would like to make a donation to the victims of Cyclone Giri in Rakhine, Myanmar, you can directly transfer your fund to our
Cyclone GIRI Relief Fund Joint Account - POSB Saving 248-42328-5.

After transferring the donation, kindly drop a mail to -

myomyint.tun08@gmail.com, thant.zw@gmail.com, aungbomyint@gmail.com,

If you would like to know more about Cyclone Giri and about us, kindly follow the links below.

- Our Facebook Page
- Minutes of Meeting from Cyclone Giri Relief Efforts Coordination Meeting #1
- ရခုိင္႐ုိးမကုိေက်ာ္၍ ကမ္းေသာလက္မ်ား (၂)
- Increase in humanitarian assistance needed to respond to Cyclone Giri in Myanmar
- Because of Lack of Media Coverage, NGOs in Myanmar are Facing Difficulty in Fund Rising
- Cyclonic Storm GIRI Situation Report # 6, 05 November 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Relief effort aiding cyclone survivors - Myanmar Times

Relief effort aiding cyclone survivors

By Aye Sapay Phyu
November 1 - 7, 2010
SURVIVORS of Cyclone Giri, which slammed into Rakhine State on October 22 and 23, are in need of emergency food and water supplies, said relief workers and residents in affected areas last week.
A volunteer from Kyaukpyu township in Rakhine State said water wells in Kyunthaya, Thinpaung Chaung and Ngapaton villages in Myebon township were flooded with saltwater, and the rice paddies in the area were also underwater.

Displaced families in a building in Kyaukpyu
Displaced families in a building in Kyaukpyu on October 24. The Myanmar Red Cross Society said 17 temporary relief camps housed more than 5600 families immediately after the storm but on October 27 that number had fallen to 2000. Pic: Supplied, U Thaung Tin

“People in those areas are having trouble finding food and water,” the volunteer worker said. “We’ve sent rice and drinking water from Kyaukpyu to people in Myebon township.”

But he added that supplies of inexpensive rice were low in Kyaukpyu township, so the volunteers were not able to send as much rice as they wanted.

He said many families were relying on the food donated early last week by Kyaukpyu residents, and locals were hoping that more support from authorities and from donors in Yangon would arrive soon.

A resident of Kyaukpyu township said on October 27 that the price of rice and roofing materials such as nipa leaves had risen because of high demand.

“The price of paw san hmwe rice went up by about K700 for a basket containing 32 tins of rice. Roofing materials are in short supply. Most people staying in temporary shelters can’t go home because some of their houses were lost and water levels are still high in their villages,” he said.

The volunteer from Kyaukpyu said on October 26 that “water is still waist-deep in some villages in Kyaukpyu township”.

“People can’t go back to their houses yet. Residents are providing lunches for the displaced, but there is no serious shortage of drinking water in Kyaukpyu.”

He added that as of October 25 about 5600 people were staying in monasteries, schools and other temporary shelters.

However, on October 28 the displaced victims were moved from the temporary shelters into a relief camp established at the Myoma football field in Kyaukpyu, where township authorities were providing food and healthcare services, the volunteer said.

“[Since October 28] we haven’t had to provide lunches for the victims. But there are some villages in other townships that are waiting for food and drinking water,” he said.

However, “residents of Sar Pyin Kwin village have gone back home and started repairing their houses. We heard that authorities are providing 10 yards (9.1 metres) of tarpaulin and 100 bamboo poles for each house in that village,” he said.

He added that township volunteers have also temporarily repaired a broken dam to stop water from flowing into the villages.
“Everyone in Kyaukpyu is still busy clearing the mess. It is quite lucky that there are some cranes in the area for a natural gas pipeline project. They’ve been helpful for moving fallen trees and lampposts,” the Kyaukpyu resident said.

State media announced on October 25 that the cyclone – which reportedly packed winds of 100-120 miles an hour (160-190 kilometres an hour) – had killed 27 people in Myebon township and five in Minbya township, while 15 were still missing in Myebon.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on October 26 that the areas most affected by the storm were Kyaukpyu, Myebon, Minbya, Munaung and Pauktaw townships.

According to assessments conducted by the Myanmar Red Cross Society, at least 176,823 people in Rakhine State were affected. Local authorities said 70,795 people were made homeless.

A report released last week by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said that while local infrastructure was severely damaged, major loss of life was reportedly avoided due to early-warning alerts and large-scale evacuation carried out by the Government and the Red Cross ahead of the cyclone’s impact.

“Good lessons have been learned from Cyclone Nargis [in 2008] … as evidenced by the advance deployments, evacuations from high-risk areas and distribution of relief to affected villages,” Bishow Parajuli, the UN resident humanitarian coordinator, was quoted as saying in the report

The UNDP – along with the UN’s refugee agency, World Food Program, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and international and national nongovernmental organizations – has mobilised Myanmar-based staff to carry out rapid assessment and coordination efforts.

“The UN and its partners are ready to scale up support, and we urge the authorities to facilitate continued access to the affected areas for both international and national staff as was done in the case of Cyclone Nargis,” Mr Parajuli said.

Ms Zafrin Chowdhury, the chief of the program communication and information section of UNICEF, said no serious illnesses had been reported as of October 28.

“There were 25 cases of diarrhoea in Myebon township. That is a manageable number. The situation now is quite normal,” she said.

She said two assessment teams from UNICEF reached Rakhine State last week and provided relief supplies such as waterguards, oral rehydration salts, bleaching powder and medical supplies.

Ms Chowdhury also said trucks had left Yangon on October 25 carrying high-energy biscuits and emergency healthcare kits, and were expected to arrive in cyclone-affected areas by the end of last week.

Assessment data showed that the high-priority needs for affected people included food, medicine and water purification, she said, adding that coordination among different agencies and the collection of reliable data were essential for the next steps of the relief effort.

Ms Chowdhury also said many schools were destroyed by the cyclone, the effect of which would be felt for quite some time.

Initial assessments indicated that 97 schools were destroyed and 145 were damaged in Myebon township, while 44 schools were severely damaged in Minbya township and 14 were flattened in Pauktaw township.

“The storm-affected people will be supplied with food, nutrition and medicine in the coming weeks or months. But the lasting effect of disaster will be that many schools have been destroyed,” Ms Chowdhury said. “So far we do not have special funding for this because it was unexpected.”

Meanwhile, the US government has provided US$100,000 in emergency relief supplies and shelter for the victims of Cyclone Giri, according to statement released by the US embassy in Yangon on October 26.

An official from the embassy said the assistance, which comes from the US Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, will be provided via the embassy to an INGO, Save the Children.

“But we can’t confirm yet when the assistance will start to support the victims,” he said. The embassy statement said the aid follows support of more than $83 million provided by the US government to Myanmar for disaster relief since Cyclone Nargis struck in May 2008.

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