Myanmar: Responding to the floods in Kayin
By Naw Phoebe, Save the Children Myanmar
Myo Thu Soe, a grade 6 student in Kayin state in Myanmar (Burma), hasn’t been going to school – but it’s not from choice.
Schools in his village were forced to shut after the Than Lwin river burst its banks in July, causing severe flooding.
It wasn’t a one-off. “Floods occur every year as our place is close to Than Lwin River,” says Myo Thu Soe’s mother, Daw Mu Mu Aung.
Forced from home
The family of five had to abandon their home. They’re now living in a monastery with 67 other families.
“We arrived here three nights and four days ago” says Daw Mu Mu Aung. “We were given food rations – rice, eggs, instant noodles.”
“We’re not sure how many days we’ll be here. Of course, it’s not at all like home,” she says. “The place is crowded. It’s not comfortable to sleep in.”
Daw Mu Mu Aung is worried about her one-year-old daughter.
“My daughter can’t sleep well because of the noise,” she says. “Her health isn’t as good as her two brothers. Ever since she was born she’s often fallen sick.”
Myo Thu Soe, age 10, misses not going to school. “I am happy to go to school and learn. I miss my teacher and my other classmates,” he says.
“My son is smart at school,” says Daw Mu Mu Aung. “He just got full marks in maths.”
Save the Children has distributed emergency kits to all families in the monastery, benefitting 313 people. Because the flooding has left roads inaccessible, this help has to come by boat.
In the longer term, we’ll look to refurbish schools, and provide learning and teaching materials to children and teachers.