Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivers speech at National Natural Disaster Management Committee coordination meeting

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Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivers the speech at the National Natural Disaster Management Committee coordination meeting in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: Myanmar News Agency

The National Natural Disaster Management Committee held a coordination meeting at the Vice President’s Office meeting hall in the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Committee Chairman Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivered a speech at the meeting saying the heavy floods that occurred in June and July have caused hazardous situations throughout the affected states and regions, especially in Taninthayi Region, Kayin State, Mon State and Bago Region.
The Vice President said preplanned procedures for reacting to disasters and rescue operations were carried in the flood-stricken areas, the National Natural Disaster Management Committee and respective ministries and state and region government provided aid and support, and the twelve work committees, formed at the inception of the National Natural Disaster Management Committee in 2016, also performed protection, rescue operations, aid and rehabilitation procedures.
The Vice President said the meeting will talk about forming the “Coordinating Body for Rehabilitating Disaster-Affected Regions”, identifying regions as disaster-affected areas, effects from the recent disasters, status on support given, ongoing support processes, and preplanning operations for the remaining rainy season.
The Vice President said rehabilitation procedures have to be carried out after search and rescue operations and aid have been provided after a natural disaster. He said, of the twelve work committees, the Rehabilitation and Renovation Work Committee and the Reinstating Vocational Training Work Committee will be the primary operators but the “Coordinating Body for Rehabilitating Disaster-Affected Regions” will be formed and given responsibilities to speed up, effectively coordinate, assist and review and fulfill requirements in the rehabilitation process.
He said there are existing laws and bylaws for identifying a region as disaster-affected.
After the floods and landslides that occurred during the months of June and July in 2015, Chin State, Sagaing Region, Magway Region and Rakhine State were identified as disaster-affected areas. The casualties, losses, deaths and other factors of the recent floods will be considered and compared to previous undertakings in the discussion, said the Vice President.
Next, National Natural Disaster Management Committee Vice-Chair Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye explained about the population in the flood-affected areas, the status of people relocating, submerged farmlands, damage to educational and healthcare facilities, roads, bridges, wells and reservoirs, support from the National Natural Disaster Management fund, support from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, forming the “Coordinating Body for Rehabilitating Disaster-Affected Regions”, and ongoing rehabilitation processes.
Management Committee Secretary Deputy Minister U Soe Aung then explained that the Natural Disaster Management Law and Bylaw state that a region can only be identified as being disaster-affected if the catalyst natural disaster results in the mass deaths of people and animals, mass demolition of basic infrastructure, property and livelihoods, a disproportionate loss of security, education and health opportunities and other social factors, mass destruction to the natural environment, and significant difficulties in rehabilitating and restoring an area to its former state among other issues. He then gave an explanation on the losses sustained during the natural disasters that occurred in the now identified disaster-affected regions in 2015 and the recent floods that have affected the states and regions.
This was followed by National Natural Disaster Management Committee members being union ministers, deputy ministers and officials explaining about controlling the flow of rivers, repairing roads and bridges and costs needed for them, collecting crops, distributing crops and fertilizers, restoring farmers with farming equipment and machineries, conducting an initial survey, verifying losses, reopening schools, restoring damaged schools, providing textbooks and stationery, regaining electric power, responding to international aid offered, search and rescue formations, different levels of responses from ministries and departments and preplanned plans.
The Vice President then reviewed the discussions and gave instructions and advice as necessary.
Attending the meeting were Union Ministers Lt-Gen Sein Win, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Dr. Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, Dr. Myo Thein Gyi, Dr. Myint Htwe, U Soe Win, U Han Zaw and Dr. Win Myat Aye, Deputy Ministers Dr. Tun Naing, U Kyaw Lin and U Soe Aung, permanent secretaries, directors-general and department officials.

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