TopActivitiesActivity Report

Myanmar Life Environment Improvement Project utilizing community addressing systems in the Southern Delta

 

As a result of the evaluation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the above captioned project was approved, and a contract for receiving Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Project was concluded on September 24.

 

  

Five years ago, on May 2 and 3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis brought catastrophic destruction with over 138,000 fatalities and missing people mainly in the Ayeyarwady area of Myanmar’s southern delta as well as in other areas including Yangon.

 

Our organization carried out a local survey immediately after the disaster, and from November 2008 to January 2011, we supplied and installed Community Addressing systems (“CA system”) to the residents in 91 villages in 4 districts including the Ayeyarmady area. A CA system enables messages and warning signals to be broadcast to the people through loud speakers so that the local residents can be alerted at the earliest possible timing.  Based on the appreciation of its usefulness, a request for additional supplies to another 70 villages was received from the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Union of Myanmar (“UMFCCI”).

 

The project this year was triggered by this request and UMFCCI is now providing full assistance to us as our prime local partner. The project also includes installation of solar generation systems in the 91 villages already equipped with CA systems in our previous projects.  The expected project duration is as long as 17 months starting on September 24, this year.

 

In Myanmar, the above Cyclone prompted government-led initiatives for disaster prevention, and thus the establishment of emergency-alarm structure and set-up of inexpensive alarm systems are regarded as matters of great urgency. If our project is of any help to the improvement of disaster prevention in Myanmar, we will be most happy.

 

  

Most of villages in the project area are located along main rivers or between mesh-like small rivers, and village people usually use boats for their everyday life.  Since social infrastructure is rather poor in this area, no commercial electricity is available at home, and most residents neither have telephones nor radios. Therefore, means of information delivery to local residents do not exist even at ordinary times.

 

Such being the case, we heard people say that even though emergency shelters are built, there are no means for alerting the residents to evacuate to a shelter at the time of disaster.  Protection from natural disasters depends on how fast residents can obtain accurate disaster prevention information.

 

In addition, at ordinary times, we expect that CA systems will be well utilized and help improve life environment of area residents by delivering to them weather forecast, sanitation/health-care, publicity of municipality and event information etc. which are indispensable for the everyday life of the local residents.

 

 

Kousuke Dobashi, Director

 

1 / 11