AL-I’TISAM DISASTER FUND – FLOOD IN ARAKAN
Arakan was hit by 120 kph typhoon on 29 July 2015. The Muslim majority areas situated along the coast around Maungdaw and Akyab (Sittwe) took the brunt of the fierce wind and heavy rain that fell on them mercilessly.
The rain fell for two consecutive days non-stop. It was followed by a major flood which inundated large areas especially in a region where the Muslim villages are situated.
Almost all houses were made of bamboo and palm leaves. The rickety huts were easily blown away by the category 3 typhoon. A total of 12,000 houses were swept clean by the strong wind and flood water. Thousands more were damaged and some were inhabitable and covered with thick sticky mud
It was a harrowing moment for the poverty stricken Muslim community. No aid was provided for them because they were regarded as a non-citizen and not entitle for any help. NGOs were prohibited from operating in Muslim areas including inside the refugee camps.
Al-I’tisam drew some fund from our Disaster Relief Fund and through the local Rohingya organization managed to slip in 10,000 kg of rice at around 1 week after the typhoon.
It was far from sufficient but it was the most we could do due to the limited resources we have.
More support is needed to boost the fund so that similar intervention could be carried out rapidly and at a much bigger scale in future.