Burma and parts of India have suffered intense monsoon rains causing severe widespread flooding affecting thousands of people. Many people have lost their homes, fields and devastatingly also their loved ones. Current death toll estimates are likely to be a significant underestimate, causing this to be a distressing time for many. People have been forced to leave their homes, hungry, homeless and in need of shelter, food and clean drinking water.
In addition landslides have blocked roads and transport routes have been destroyed making access to food and materials challenging. Farms and fields and been destroyed resulting in a steep rise in the price of rice and vegetables and in some areas the price of rice has tripled. Roads and bridges are unlikely to be repaired rapidly and many predict that the price of rice, vegetables, fuel and other essentials will remain high making it increasingly difficult for the poor to afford to eat.
Kalaymyo, where the majority of Stand by Me’s work in Burma is based, is in the Sagaing Division, one of the worst affected areas. Although much of Stand by Me’s work is located in close proximity to the floods, we are very thankful that all our children are safe.
Headteacher of the Lois School, Ciang, told us “It was very very sad to see that many have been swept by the waters! The water today reaches to Kalaymyo hospital! Kalaymyo hospital and the biggest market is flooded! Over 100 people now takes shelter in our school God gave us for many purposes!”
Over 100 people are now taking refuge in the school and the classrooms which are usually full of students are now transformed into a safe haven for the homeless. The school provided the victims with clothes, soap and toothbrushes and meals. Our staff are now ready to distribute food aid to those with the greatest need.
Stand by Me have mobilised two teams to help the victims of the floods with the provision of food and clean water.
For the Stand by Me Agape Yankin Children’s Home in Yangon, the waters have flooded the homes and our staff and children have had to evacuate with their essentials to nearby rented accommodation to stay safe from the rising waters and wait for the floods to abate.
We expect it may take over a year for some areas to recover from this severe flood and Stand by Me want to support our children and the local people while they work toward this goal. Thank you for your support of the children in our care in Burma. Please keep our children, the people of Burma and our staff in your prayers.