Mon State announces rehabilitation plans for landslide survivors in Paung

August 29, 2019

HURFOM: On August 9, 2019, heavy rains contributed to a landslide, that resulted in the death of 72 people and destroyed 27 homes in Ye Pyar Gone village in Paung Township.

According to the Mon State government office, the government has a plan to rebuild homes lost during the disaster and the Ministry of Social, Welfare, Relief and Resettlement will provide a “life compensation” payment to those who have lost family members.

According to the State Government Office Director, U Myint Than Win, Mon State will provide 300,000 Kyat for each deceased person and the Ministry of Social, Welfare, Relief and Resettlement will provide the same amount to each survivor.

Rebuilding homes that were damaged or destroyed and issuing the life compensation payments faces some challenges. U Myint Than Win explained, “As it’s a rehabilitation program, it’s a long-term one. We first have to find the government-owned land, for example, grazing land. The kind of land must (also) not be low land.”

He added, “In some cases, whole family were killed. So to whom can we pay a life compensation? Can we pay the compensation to the relatives of the husband or the wife?”

The government rehabilitation project will collect inputs from survivors, to see if they want to move to a new location or if they wish to remain in the same area. According to the Office Director, approval to remain in the same locations would only be possible following an investigation of the landslide to determine the future safety for residents. The State government is preparing a long-term plan with other relevant government departments, authorities and the survivors.

The government has authorized the use of nearby grazing lands for the rehabilitation program, but some survivors are not willing to move because these lands are as much as 7 furlongs away from their old village.

We heard that (the government) will give us (land plots) at a grazing land. We don’t want that kind of place. We want to stay at our original place. We want our land. If our original village is dangerous, (the government should) pay compensation that will help us to move in a new place. If not, the government should manage to make our original place safe. (If our original place is safe,) we want to stay there,” said Ma Chaw Su, a landslide survivor from Ye Pyar Gone village.

U Tin Shwe, the Chairperson of the National League for Democracy – NLD of Thel Phyu Gone village track said, “If the government can support everything they lost during the landslide, it becomes a better rehabilitation program.”

169 people lived in the 27 houses which were damaged during the landslide but only 104 persons survived. Among the 72 deceased victims, 65 people were residents and 7 were travelers, according to Daw Aye Thidar, a clerk with the General Administration Department of Ye Pyar Gone village.

There is no rehabilitation camp for the landslide survivors, many had to take shelter at relatives’ homes. According to the Mon State government office, as of August 22, 2019, losses attributed to the flooding and landslide totaled more than 1,200 million Kyats.

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