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Emergency Flood Assistance: Myitkyina, Kachin State

During the monsoon season of July 2004 Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State in Northern Myanmar, was flooded. The Irrawaddy River rose to its highest level since 1978. Unofficial sources estimate that about 100 people died as a result of flood and landslides in Myitkyina and the surrounding areas and mountains. Many houses were damaged, destroyed or simply swept away and a large number of deep wells – the main source for drinking water – were badly contaminated. The government did little to help the flood victims and international NGOs were not allowed to help in Myitkyina Town proper. As a consequence the affected population had largely to rely on the local religious organizations.

PIN supported the work of the Kachin Baptist Association (through Shalom Foundation) and the Roman Catholic Diocese in Myitkyina financially. The donation was used to buy food (rice), support emergency shelters for the flood victims, to rebuild bridges, to sanitize the contaminated wells (pump the polluted water out, clean, and disinfect the well) and to feed the voluntary rescue workers.