Cyclone victims in need of lasting assistance

May 27, 2008 (DVB), Cyclone survivors in Kunchangone and Dadaye townships need supplies to help rebuild their lives rather than short-term aid donations, a member of a joint volunteer team told DVB.

The team of about 70 artists, journalists, medical workers and monks met cyclone victims on Sunday and asked them about their needs.

The team was divided into four groups to cover different areas and each group provided people with plastic sheets, pots, cooking oil, lighters, candles and noodles.

Volunteer U Zaw Thet Htway, a member of the team who went to Ywar Thi and Pay Kone villages together with other artists and journalists, told DVB that he has seen destroyed houses and villagers all around him.

"When I asked the villagers what they wanted, they mostly replied with one word: 'machines'," Zaw Thet Htway said.

"I asked them what kind of machines and they said tractors," he said.

"They said that as it is now the beginning of the rainy season and the right time for cultivation, if they had a tractor they could start growing rice and wouldn't need to worry about food anymore."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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