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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Email from a friend

The following is an email from a friend who actually visited the cyclone hit Bogalay in Irrawaddy delta of Myanmar.

Actually I havn't seen much at Bogalay as the Thidagu monestry is located at the entrance of Bogalay.
But it's not on the main road that we hv to go abt 15min towards the river.
The monestry is built on the bank of the river that they distribute all the materials with boats to the affected villeges that cannot be reached by cars.
The route is like Nyaung Done---Ma Au Bin---Kyeik Lat----Phyar Bone---Bo Ga Lay.
After we passed Kyeik Lat there are lines of people on both sides of the road hoping for some donations by passing by cars until we reach Bogalay.
I think there will be more than 10,000 people.
Those people previously lived in the paddy fields on the left and right side of the road.
Now their homes were destroyed and the fields were filled by water that it is not even possible to walk through.
So, they move to the road side and some of them could built small tents but some cannot that hv to stand or sleep in the bare land.
I saw 6,7 family members tightly sitting under a roof not larger than 4'x4' plastic sheet with 4 posts.
Most of their accomodations are not worth to call a tent, it's barely a shelter with a roof with 4 sticks.
I can't imeganine how they would live when there is rain.
Most of them are women and chilerens.
They are not begging for money but they are standing there with full of hope who will donate basic needs like food, water, clothes, etc...
I had a chance to ask one of them.
The man said they are ashame to stand and hopeing for donation while they are still storng and healthy.
He said they hv no choice cos the whole delta area biz is only farming.
Since all seeds for rain crops were destroyed and so no farm owner hire them again.
These people are hidden victims of the storm.
That means almost all the people in delta region going to be incomeless if we cannot support them to resume farming.
I am wondering how many days we still can donate to those people.
after donation ends, how they can live.
Some of them will become robbers, some will thieves, some will beggers, women become porstitutes, childrens will be trafficked and only minority will get a job in town areas.
They don't even know they should go to camps so they are not listed as victims.
There are still a lot of people like this around Ygn area like Hlaingthaya, South/North Dagon, Shwe Pauk Kan, Kun Chan Kone whose home and biz were destroyed.
It is not possible to rebuild their home and biz without effective help.
And you know I saw so many schools destoryed along the road and they are not repaired yet.
So how schools will reopen and even school reopen, who can go to school in such situation.
We cannot go further down frm Bogalay as it is dead end of the road.
We heard there are several camps opened by gov that we did not go there.
Thidagu sayadaw is trying to send those helps to the areas that no gov help can reach.
I believe there are still many people surrounded by water who still can't escape who will be dying if no supply reach them.
I saw some victims living near Thidaku camp said water level is higher than the coconut trees and coconut trees are the highest point they can climb up.
And there's very high tide coming like a big wave drag drowning all the people.
You can hardly find a man who still left his all family members.
As you know all villeges are built along the river and costal line, you can imaging how those people die smimilar like a tsunami.
I regret that I didn't take my camera with me.
Ok, I am planning to donate arnd the Ygn region and so will post you more abt the worst lifes on the earth.
If possible pls post above situation on yr blog or anywhere else on the web.
You can edit or re-write as you like.
I would like the world know that the problem is not jst simply dying by the tide but there is much much bigger hidden problems ahead concerning with millions of people.

I made a donation of 15,000 baht (535,000 kyats in real money) through him to the cyclone hit victims of Irrawaddy. Please do whatever you can to help our people in the Irrawaddy delta region in Myanmar.

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