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A Long Recovery Ahead for Myanmar Chin State

Floods and landslides in the Chin region of Myanmar displaced thousands of people this summer, but recovery has just begun.

Almost 20,000 people were displaced by severe weather in western Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, say relief groups. Locals called the heavy rains of July the worst natural disaster in memory. Towns and villages across the region were destroyed.

Months after the landslides, roads in the capital of Chin state, Hakha, have been cleared. But in the rural areas, aid is hard to find.

Many of the emergency supplies sent to help Chin state had to pass through many flooded towns and villages. Supplies ran out before arriving in Chin.

Peter Brimble, a development official for Myanmar, said Chin’s location hurt recovery efforts.

“It’s tough to get in, and it’s tough to get out. … That causes a challenge … to get materials in and out to rebuild [damaged] assets,” Brimble said.

Another strategy to help people recover is moving them. The Myanmar government is spending about $3 million dollars to relocate residents.

Critics have two objections. The first is that contracts to rebuild will go to friends of favored officials. The second is that rebuilding will be rushed and low quality.

Outside of Hakha, 700 new homes are being built. Inspectors have complained that this group of homes is in a remote location. Those waiting to move into the homes have been living in camps for nearly five months.

Daniel De Carteret and Simon Lewis wrote this story for Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

asset – n. a valuable person or thing

remote – adj. far away; distant

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