Cyclone Nargis Relief
Shortly after Cyclone Nargis hit the Irrawaddy delta of Burma May 2nd two travel organizations that Generosity in Action has worked with for a number of years asked if we could collect funds for them to distribute to help the local people. We were happy to do so. [As of 6/30 we anticipate that further funds will go to repbuilding schools in the area and for plowing equipment as described in later reports.] Below you will find segments from emails received from them. If you wish further information, please email me at duncan@GenerosityInAction.org
Received May 19, 2008
Received May 20
This is page 2. To read earlier emails, click here.
email received May 19t. This report is from Kyaw Soe - owner of Arcadia Travels in Rangoon
I went to part of the delta yesterday. My buddies and I have loaded our hired light truck with some blankets, thick plastic sheets (4x6 feet) for pesonal use as ponchos in the rain, medicine, two medical doctors who volunteer themselves. There are other two light trucks with other buddy groups who are coming together with us. The place is called .... We had to drive there for 4 hours. Since we got out of Yangon area at 8 a.m. in the morning we had drizzling rain and because it was Sunday there are a lot of individual donors with their own sedans or some business conglomerates and companies with big trucks or buddy group like us with light trucks loaded with staff which the survivors might need. Of course those include three basic needs rice for food, tarp for shelter and clothes new or old. The atmosphere is really something. All cars are heading out to the delta on the single narrow road with barely enough for two lanes at some points.
We saw some of the well wishers started pouring out the clothes towards the people on the road as soon as we are on the country road outside Yangon. We come to see some of the destroyed huts in the paddy fields and spireless pagodas with tattered old wooden monasteries in the surroundings. After driving for two and half hours we got to one town called ... where we came to see some so-called relief works done by the authorites with some 6 tents donated internationally. I saw some TV camera crew frenziedly preparing for the imment arrival of one of the top brass coming for inspection which would be aired on TV as their propaganda reflecting that everything is in control and there is no serious situation.
We had some lunch in the next town called ... after seeing some 20 tents built outside the town when we came in. There is a large company who gets along well with regime just had a fenced area with a sign which reads the reconstruction projects for homes destroyed by the cyclone without much action being done except some military trucks parked inside.
As soon as we got out of town after lunch we were shocked by the people who are lining the road on the side of the vehicles which are coming from Yangon. They are the cyclone survivors who are expecting some donation from the people in vehicles. Some dropped some food or clothes. Some big trucks pulled over and started pouring out a couple of baskets of rice to each person. It goes on for four miles until we got to a dirt road which goes off from the main road. This is the place one of our buddies found out worth trying going off from the main road.
At the turn from the main road we saw a water buffalow carcass in the side canal. What a foul, putrid smell! While the trucks wade through the muddy road we spotted another water buffalow carcass again. Then we got stuck in the much and some villagers walking past helped us get out of the mud. Two miles inside locates a village called ... which has some 160 houses. Each house in our country has 5 to 7 people normally. They said they have lost 5 adults and 2 kids during the storm. We stationed at the primary school of the village for our temporary clinic. Unloaded all the medicine we've brought and announced that anyone who is sick is welcome to consult with two doctors people start arriving. Most of them are women children under 5 because men and kids above 5 are out there on the main road for receiving some donation. some 15 kids kids and toddlers out of 100 pationts suffer from dirrhea some 20 adults both males and females suffered from chest pain which probably is caused by the smoking of cheroots. the others suffered from fever or some sores due to accidents. There were some 70 patients. I met a 25-year-old woman who was waiting for treatment. She is pregnant for 7 months. When I asked her if this is her first baby she said no. She said this is the second with teary eyes. What did I do wrong I asked myself in mind. The lady next to here told me that her first 7-year-old daughter was drowned during the storm. What a tragic thing I've just heard! The lady kept on talking how hard they had to run at 1 a.m. in the morning. The wind is so strong that rain drops hit them are very painful. The water is flooding quickly knee and thigh high after the outrageous wind blew everything away from their house. Nowhere to go but guessed and run to the direction of high point which is the school we were at. Make one step towords the right they falter or move to the left or any other direction because of the wind. There is a tank outside their village which is pretty deep. They got they accidentally couldn't get out. The husband got down there first so the wife tried to catch him and lost her child. The water they said is very salty and bitter. I patted her on the back and encouraged her that she is going to have a very bright girl just like the first one.