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Louise in the East Delta, Myanmar

I’m already one month into my work here in Myanmar. It has gone very fast but I do feel that I have seen so much already. The week before last I spent 5 days visiting our offices in the East Delta region. As our work scales down, the Yangon region and the East Delta region are being combined. There are 3 offices left in the East Delta so the trip with the Regional Logistics Managers from the two regions was to hand over the work to the Yangon region Logistics Manager. It was great for me to be able to see what type of things are monitored and carried out in the field while learning from the experiences of the managers.

It was fascinating to get outside the city of Yangon and see the lives of those living by the roadside in wooden huts carrying out their daily duties on their farmland. Despite the dry season it seems there is still some agricultural activity, though rivers and streams are very low.

The first stop was our office in Pyapone, a bustling town which was larger than I expected. The field offices are solely staffed by Myanmese people and there seemed to be a good close knit community feel amongst them. In Pyapone we are looking for a new warehouse – the current one is held by the World Food Programme (WFP), but they are leaving this area soon. We went to visit some buildings near the office to check their suitability for moving our stock there.

The next two stops: the Mawlanyinegyn township and the Hlaing Bone village. They were even smaller than Pyapone but seemed just as busy with lots of bicycles, trishaws and small tractors heading out to work in the fields. In between stock counting in the warehouses and looking through the logistics processes in place we visited two of our water treatment plants along the river. The water treatment plant near Hlaing Bone served several nearby villages. People came to collect the water from the tap stands and registered with staff there to indicate they had received their 5L of drinking water for the day. Hlaing Bone was one of the worst affected areas in this region. I was told of stories about the water levels rising to over the height of the houses when Cyclone Nargis hit. Save the Children is one of the only organizations working in this area now, accessing the surrounding villages by boat from the small jetty near our office.

After this taster for the East Delta region I am keen to get out to the West Delta next week for a 7 day trip to 5 of our offices there. I will write again when I return.

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