Flood victims feel extorted for transportation fees for donated materials

September 15, 2019

HURFOM: According to local sources, the village Administrator in Pauk Pin Kwin village, Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division was charging (2,000) kyats to each household that suffered losses by the recent heavy monsoon. This fee was being collected to pay for the transportation of donated materials to aid flood victims.

Donated goods were being stored in Ye Township, leaving the transportation costs to get the goods to affected villages, unaccounted for.

Local residents were dissatisfied with the Administrator’s plan to charge 2000 kyat/affected households as a transportation fee,  labelling the plan as  extortion.  Half of the  villagers affected by the flooding,  did not pay the (2,000) Kyats fee. As a result, only those households that paid the transportation fee received any of the donated materials.

“About 100 houses were flooded. 58 houses got [donated material] support. They were the houses that paid (transportation fee) 2,000. The house[hold’s that did] not give fee, did not get materials so there was extra [donated materials.]. The extra materials were [then] re-allocated to those households that [paid the transportation fee, but they] already got support. [This] meant that the households that got flooded …got double supports while the rest did not get any support at all. It should not be like that” said a community leader and public health worker in Pauk Pin Kwin village.

There are 500 houses in Pauk Pin Kwin village and about 100 houses were flooded by the heavy rains that fell on 8 August 2019. The monsoon not only affected many households but also destroyed plantations in Pauk Pin Kwin village.

During the 4-week period of flooding, Ye Township authorities tried to manage the donations received to support flood victims.

No agreement had been reached between affected household and the Village Administrator regarding how the transportation costs of donated materials would be dealt with. The Administrator just decided to collect money for the transportation costs from affected households and did not “respect our opinion.” said another community leader. 

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