UNICEF stresses addressing issue of water shortage in Myanmar
www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-01 19:28:51   Print

    YANGON, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) stressed on Monday that although children's need are being met four months after a cyclone storm hit Myanmar, the potential threat of water shortage issue should be addressed immediately, warning that the risk of water shortage is looming inthe coming dry season.

    "Despite ongoing efforts to pump contaminated water out of the ponds, there is a risk that not all the water ponds can be cleaned and refilled before the beginning of the dry season," said UNICEF in Myanmar in its media release.

    Noting that it is crucial to identify high risk areas with potential water shortages now, the release called for working closely with the government community and partner agencies to avoid the probability in the coming months.

    According to the release, a total of 1,800 ponds have so far been cleaned with the support of government to communities and the help of aid agencies. Of the 1,800 ponds, 442 were covered by the UNICEF.

    It added that in the post-Nargis period, outbreak of major illnesses have been avoided and routine immunization has been re-established with children studying in temporary safe learning spaces.

    Myanmar, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), UN agencies and other partners are working together in the post-Nargis humanitarian efforts with UNICEF leading the cluster for water and sanitation, education, nutrition and children protection cluster.

    "Even though the cyclone has caused a tremendous amount of suffering, this is also a chance to build back better and improve the situation of children and families in Myanmar," the release quoted the UNICEF representative Ramesh Shrestha as saying.

    According to the release, cyclone Nargis destroyed or damaged over 4,000 schools and more than 600 health facilities and separated hundreds of young children from their parents and close relatives.

    Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis hit five divisions and states - Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on last May 2 and 3, of which Ayeyawaddy and Yangon inflicted the heaviest casualties and massive infrastructural damage.

    The storm killed 84,537 people, leaving 53,836 missing and 19,359 injured, according to official sources. 

Editor: An
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