The irony of Myanmar flooding? Water scarcity

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A town welcome sign in Sagaing Region is
submerged beneath floodwater.
(Photo, caption courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

Myanmar (MNN) — Water, water, everywhere, yet not a drop to drink.

That’s the story in flooded Myanmar as aid groups struggle to keep up with the demand of thirsty souls.

Ponds, rivers, and hand-dug wells traditionally used as fresh water sources have been contaminated by Myanmar’s worst flooding in decades.

“In Pwintbyu, we found that there is not enough drinking water in the camps,” Save the Children communications manager told Reuters.

Pwintbyu is one of the four regions severely affected by historic Myanmar flooding.

In Nyaungdone, an official at a camp for displaced villagers told Burma News International: “200 villages in the township faced acute drinking water scarcity.”

Tens of thousands of Myanmar flooding survivors are without clean water, and disease is on their doorstep.

“That’s kinda that ‘second wave’ of devastation: the disease and illnesses that can come about as a result of the poor sanitation and not [enough] adequate resources,” says Amie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission (CAM).

Hope floats

Clean water may be scarce, but in times like these, hope is often a rarer find. That’s why local Christians, with the help of Christian Aid Mission, are bringing both to flood survivors.

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(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

“They know the best ways to get resources in from other areas and to get them distributed adequately,” Cotton shares.

“They’re people’s neighbors; they know the language, they know the culture.”

Along with physical aid like clean water, food, and shelter, indigenous missionaries are sharing the eternal hope of Christ.

“It’s not just a humanitarian thing; it is sharing Christ as these urgent needs are met,” Cotton explains.

“It’s an opportunity to ‘be there’ [for neighbors]. It’s an opportunity to provide resources in the name of Jesus.”

Help believers meet the needs of Myanmar flooding survivors.

“The ministries need tarps, they need clothes, they need blankets for the victims. We need to pray for their health,” says Cotton.

“If people feel led, they can give, and 100% of the funds that are given go directly to these ministries.”