Aizawl, Aug 5: After various civil organisations and other political parties planned to send aid to flood affected Zo communities in Chin state of Myanmar, the ruling Congress had mulled over sending of relief to the Zo ethnic people living in the region either in kind, money or both.
The meeting of Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee Office Bearers on Wednesday expressed sadness and sympathy over the pathetic condition of Zo ethnic communities living in neighbouring Chin state of Myanmar and Manipur who were badly affected by flood and landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains over the past few weeks.
The meeting agreed that an immediate financial aid or material help or both would be extended to flood affected Zo ethnic communities in Chin state of Myanmar as their plight and suffering were too much.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the latter to extend aid to the neighbouring country Myanmar which has been devastated by flood and landslides due to heavy rains recently.
The Chief Minister in his letter said that the recent heavy monsoon rains in Myanmar have cause havoc and displaced thousands of people in the country leaving at least 47 people dead. Many areas are still completely cut off by high waters or damaged roads. Among these, at least 100 houses were destroyed by landslides in Chin state of Myanmar bordering Mizoram. Haka town in Chin state, with a population of over 40,000 and also home to a number of ethnic Mizo tribes with whom the Mizos in Mizoram still have very close cultural ties is inaccessible by road due to landslides.
Lal Thanhawla added that with the government of Mizoram trying its level best to bring relief to the people in distress and the civil societies and NGOs gearing up to bring whatever relief they can muster through donation drive in Aizawl and other towns, the government of India may also consider air dropping essential supplies from Mizoram side. “For a country known for its magnanimity in times of calamities, I strongly believe that this is an opportunity for India where the central leadership can chip in by providing immediate relief to our neighbour as was done in the case of Nepal. I earnestly urge you to provide necessary aid to the people in their hour of need”, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla urged Prime Minister in his letter.
According to sources, Changelzawl, a 200 house village inhabited by Zo ethnic communities in Chin state had been completely swept away by flood. In Kanaan, only 50 out of 1200 houses are now livable after flood and landslides ravaged the town.
The Chin state has been inaccessible after all communications were cut off due to flood in the region which further obstructs rescue and relief operation, sources said.
Earlier, Various organisations and political parties in Mizoram have appealed for aid and prayers for ethnic Zo communities affected by floods and heavy rains in Myanmar as well as in Manipur. The Zofa Global Network and the Mizo Zaimi Insuihkhawm (MZI), have announced plans to hold a donation drive by organizing mobile charity concert and live television programme in the state this week in aid of flood affected Zo ethnic people in Myanmar.
Other political parties like the Mizo National Front and the Mizoram People’s Conference also issued appeals to residents of Mizoram to pray for and contribute to aid meant for ethnic Zos in Myanmar who have been affected by the heavy rains and winds in the wake of Cyclone Komen.
Various groups and political parties also met at the Zo Reunification Organisation’s offices on Monday to discuss how best to collect and send aid to the flood-affected regions, saying ethnic Zo communities have been severely affected by flooding in towns across Chin State and Sagaing Divisions such as Tahan, Falam, Kawlphai, Kalemiau and Halkha.
Meanwhile, the largest denomination in Mizoram the Presbyterian church and Central YMA, the largest NGOs in the state planned to organized donation drive for flood affected Zo people in Myanmar. According to the latest report by Myanmar’s ministry of social welfare, the death toll from severe flooding in Myanmar has risen to 69, with 259,799 people affected by the disaster. The flooding has submerged vast areas, and four states and regions — Rakhine, Chin, Sagaing and Magway — have been declared “natural disaster affected areas”, reports Xinhua news agency.
Flooding has begun to move southwards and was likely to expand and affect more areas, the meteorology and hydrology department warned. The floods, caused by heavy rainfall since June, has destroyed houses, farmland, railway lines, bridges and roads.