Donation ceremony in Ayeyawady Region honours Nargis victims

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Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye delivers the speech at the donation ceremony to dedicate memorial for the victims of cyclone Nargis in Pathein, Ayeyawady Region yesterday. Photo: MNA

Shwemuhtaw Pagoda and Myaungmya Monastery in Pathein City, Ayeyawady Region, held a donation ceremony to dedicate memorial for the victims of cyclone Nargis yesterday. The cyclone entered the Ayeyawady Delta on the same day yesterday, 10 years ago. Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye and Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung attended the ceremony and offered donations.
The union minister and his entourage then attended a ceremony in Withaka (Daw Hla Yin) religious building to commemorate the 10th year of Cyclone Nargis. The union minister offered “soon” meals to the monks.
A commemoration event was also held at Pathein City Hall, which was attended by Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye, the Ayeyawady Region chief minister, the speaker of the Ayeyawady Region Hluttaw and regional MPs, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, regional ministers, Chairman of the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), MRCS members, representatives from the UN, international and humanitarian organisations, and other invited guests.
The union minister delivered the opening speech noting that the impact of the cyclone will be remembered throughout history. He said the losses suffered on that day were felt deeply across the country. The commemoration event will reflect and review Myanmar’s preparedness to respond to natural disasters and the steps to be taken moving forward, he added.
Cyclone Nargis is estimated to have cost Myanmar some Ks11.7 trillion in damages, and an estimated 140,000 casualties and deaths in 37 Yangon and Ayeyawady regions. Humanitarian and restoration efforts have been carried out by humanitarian organisations, in cooperation with the union government.
After the onslaught of Nargis, the Natural Disaster Management Law and Rule were enacted and 12 working committees were formed, including the National Natural Disaster Management Committee (NNDMC), said the union minister. He also added that some Ks20 billion was allotted to the union natural disaster management fund annually. A natural disaster management school was opened in Hinthada in the Ayeyawady Region, a central emergency response department was opened in Nay Pyi Taw, and a youth-empowered school was opened for orphaned youths in Labutta Township in the years following Nargis, he stated.
The union minister said that other humanitarian aid included the construction of 70 cyclone shelters in the Ayeyawady region, and this year, an additional 57 multipurpose cyclone shelters would be constructed. The NNDMC is leading other organisations to raise awareness and provide emergency response training to the public to help them prepare to face natural disasters.
Next, Regional Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung explained the government’s response and actions after Nargis and their collaboration with the NNDMC. This was followed by a minute of silence observed by all in attendance for the victims of Nargis.
The union minister then conferred honorary prizes to youth volunteers providing free education at the youth-empowered school in Labutta. Other activities included discussions on reports of natural disasters in the Ayeyawady Region, members of the public sharing their experiences during the cyclone, and some role-plays and exhibitions.

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