The Irrawaddy region’s parliament may need assistance from the central government to provide urgent relief after heavy flooding deluged swathes of central Burma last week.
“Most townships in the region were affected by the floods while Yekyi, Tharpaung, Kyonpyaw and Kangyidaunt townships [were among] the worst hit,” said Hsan Hsint, speaker of Irrawaddy region’s parliament.
“We are planning to bring relief, rehabilitation and follow up assistance to those areas, with the Irrawaddy regional government’s own budget and if that is not possible, then we will raise this at the Union-level [parliament] for immediate measures.”
National League for Democracy’s Upper House representative Dr. Hla Myat Thwe of Yekyi constituency-2 said the regional parliament is planning on asking the Union Parliament to improve infrastructure in affected areas to prevent future flooding.
“[The Irrawaddy Region Parliament]’s speaker will raise this to the Union Parliament as an emergency issue [to ask for] assistance – more effective relief measures and to immediately upgrade dams and irrigation systems in the region to prevent further flooding,” said Dr. Hla Myat Thwe.
Government organisations and civil society groups that are overseeing relief projects in flooded areas are reporting that food and medicine is in short supply.
“This is becoming regular every year as local rivers and creeks had become sullied due to the increased number of dams and irrigation [canals], which affects the flow [and] makes them prone to flooding,” said Hsan Hsint.
“We discussed that this is not just a natural disaster anymore but a result of a failure to carry out necessary measures.”
According to figures cited by Eleven Media Group, an estimated of 56,767 cultivated acres have been destroyed by flooding this year.
Burma’s fragile infrastructure and outdated agricultural systems are all too often unable to cope with the seasonal monsoon rains.