Dagon cyclone victims miss out on aid

May 20, 2008 (DVB), Cyclone victims taking shelter in a school and library in southern New Dagon township did not receive their any of their allotted rice when supplies were distributed by township officials recently.

Burmese prime minister general Thein Sein ordered local officials in southern New Dagon township to provide one pyi of rice [approximately 4kg] to each cyclone victim, but township authorities did not give the rice to all the victims.

There are five refugee camps in Dagon, but most of those who didn't receive any rice currently live in an infant school and a library located far away from the main road.

None of the 100 families made up of 500 people sheltering in Kanaung Infant School in Quarter No. 168 was provided with any rice.

"We heard that township SPDC chairman U Thein Soe Win came here yesterday for aid distribution," said one mother whose family was not given any rice allowance.

"We also heard that people living the other side of the camp received supplies but we didn't. We are victims too."

Victims are now trying to meet donors to receive supplies directly because they have not received private donations given through township SPDC officials.

One cyclone victim said a team had been formed of one or two people from each camp to wait for private donors at the camp entrances.

"Once a donor comes, the team takes the donor to different parts of the camp for aid distribution," he said.

"In this way, we can receive supplies; otherwise, if the aid distribution goes through the authorities we won't receive anything."

DVB was told that four children suffering from diarrhoea were sent to Thakayta Hospital a few days ago, but their parents had to buy medicine since the hospital did not have sufficient medical supplies.

A local health team recently went to the camp to provide clean water but children are still contracting water-borne diseases, with two currently suffering from diarrhoea.

According to a female cyclone victim, people living in refugee camps in Dagon are also facing sanitation problems and do not have enough space to sleep.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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