Title: Community-Based Disaster Management in Myanmar: The Case of Cyclone Nargis Affected Communities in Bogale Township, Ayeyarwady Division
Author: Kyaw Thu Mya Han
Keywords: COMMUNITY-BASED DISASTER MANAGEMENT/LOCAL PEOPLE/CYCLONE NARGIS/AYEYARWADY DELTA
This study aims to identify and assess existing efforts of the local people in managing natural disaster at the community level. It also explores the necessary conditions for the promotion of community-based disaster management focusing on three communities of Bogale Township, Ayeyarwady delta, including Ma Gu Ywar Ma, Pay Chain Lay and Thar Yar Gone villages. Exploratory and qualitative methods are used in the study. Analysis is based on empirical field observations guided by disaster management framework of the UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations and local non-governmental organizations concerned. The study evaluates the government policies and framework on disaster management, and the role of local communities in disaster relief activities. Local household members were interviewed.
The study finds the villagers were able to organize themselves at a minimum level, e.g., maintaining relief items in their communities' warehouses, and reconstructing the school. Aspects of community disaster management were not well established such as early warning system and evacuation protocols as well as the humanitarian relief operation. This reflects upon the government's initial arrangement for the community was not adequate. The ability to mobilize and utilize local resources and the capacity of local communities still requires continuous national and international assistance. Under the strictly control of the government's command over the relief operation, the community-based disaster management cannot be fully exercised. This is due to the fact that the community needs to access to the initial humanitarian re4ief to be able to play a greater role in reviving their livelihoods; and the two-way communication channels with other actors including the government agencies is not established.
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