Chuncung Village on the Path to Recovery after July Landslides
The footpath to the school repaired through a cash for work initiative.
U Rual Thang is very satisfied with the way his village has recovered from the massive floods and landslides that effected Myanmar five months ago. U Rual lives in Chuncung village, in the Chin capital Hakha. As in many parts of this hilly terrain capital, his village also suffered from damages caused by landslides brought by torrential, monsoonal rains that affected 12 of the 14 states and regions in Myanmar. Flash floods and landslides took the lives of 120 people, affected more than a million people and destroyed 1.2 million acres of rice fields.Of major concern to the Chuncung villagers was the damaged footpath that children used every day to go to school. It is also the same path used by villagers to go to their farms. Villagers were also concerned about damaged drainage systems. However, these concerns were addressed when the United Nations Development Programme stepped in to help the village recover.
“In the aftermath of any natural disaster, affected communities need both facilities to be repaired and a cash injection. Our team in Hakha, visited affected areas and in consultation with the villagers designed short programmes in which villagers themselves were employed to repair the damaged infrastructure. This strategy addressed both pressing needs of the affected community,” said Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director. “I participated in the renovation of the path to the school and received a daily wage of 7000 MMK for 2 working days so that I got 14000 MMK in total. I used this money to buy food for my family,” said U Rual Thang.“Now even motorbikes can pass through. Most importantly, I feel safe for the students who pass through this path go to school.” The foot path was repaired within two days and employed 20 villagers. The repair work was carried out in September.“Students particularly young ones could not come to school due to the severe damage of this path and the school had to be closed for a week. Now, thanks to UNDP and the Village Early Recovery Committee, the path opened and students can come to the school as usual,” said the local school teacher.
The Village Early Recovery Committee was established at the beginning of the project. It was elected by the villagers. The committee set priorities for the repairs and managed the reparation process.Approximately 1836 people benefited from this activity in Chungcung village. UNDP has worked in 5 villages- Loklung, Chuncung, Hniarlawn, Bualtak and Tiphul – repairing damaged footpaths, and providing small farm animals and tools to help affected farmers get back on their feet. Work continues in 5 villages – Tinan, Cinhua, Aive, Vuanlung and Rinpi and includes cash for work and support to villagers to improve their livelihoods. So far, 1126 households made up of 5,064 people were supported with a total budget of USD 20,000. UNDP has allocated a further USD 30,000 to continue the work.