Irrawaddy residents fear spread of disease

Jun 2, 2008 (DVB), Cyclone victims in the coastal areas of Irrawaddy division are worried about the spread of disease from dead bodies which have still not been collected, according to a donor.

A private donor from Mandalay, who has visited around 90 villages in the coastal areas, said residents were still in desperate need of help, with bodies of humans and animals still lying on the streets a month after the cyclone hit.

"There are human corpses still floating around in creeks and drains in the area as well as dead animal bodies," the donor said.

"According to an elderly farmer in one of the villages, a lot of cows and buffalo are continuing to die from diarrhoea after drinking from lakes and ponds filled with salt water," he said.

"Local residents are really scared that they might catch diseases spread by flies bred from the dead bodies."

The donor said aid workers had still not reached some villages that were badly hit by the cyclone.

"Some villages in Daydaye township, such as Ywar Thar Aye village, have not received any aid yet and villagers are only surviving by eating the wet rice and drinking rain water," he said.

"They are running out of food , if they don’t receive help within a few weeks, they will starve."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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