Chairman of National Natural Disaster Management Committee Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses meeting 1/2021 of the committee

Chairman of National Natural Disaster Management Committee Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses meeting 1/2021 of the committee

Nay Pyi Taw  May  27

National Natural Disaster Management Committee held its meeting 1/2021 at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Re-settlement here this afternoon, with an address delivered by Chairman of the committee Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win.

Also present at the meeting were SAC members Union Minister General Mya Tun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San and Lt-Gen Soe Htut, Union ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, directors general and officials. chairmen and members of Nay Pyi Taw Council and region/state Administration Councils and chiefs of staff (Army, Navy and Air) participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vice-Senior General said the national committee was reformed with 43 members under the Order No. 10/2021 of SAC. Natural disasters are occurring in many parts of the world every year. Their causes include global warming, excessive felling of trees, forest depletion and forest fires harmful to the natural environment.

Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has divided the disasters in four categories – a disaster that kills more than ten persons, a disaster that hit more than 100 people, a disaster that is declared as national level disaster zone and a disaster that needs international help. CRED documented the disasters the meet one of the categories and found that the world faced an average of 300 natural disasters per year during a decade between 2011 and 2020. The records show the average number of annual deaths at nearly 15,000, annual victims at over 164 million and annual loss at over USD 170 billion.

 According to its geographical condition, 23 percent of natural disasters were caused by fire, 11 percent by floods, 12 percent by storms, and four percent by earthquake, tsunami and landslides in Myanmar during the decade from 2000 to 2010. A review of annually occurred natural disasters showed that Myanmar has nine types of natural disasters. They are: storm, tidal wave, flood, landslide, earthquake, tsunami, drought, fire and forest fire.

 The national committee has three phases to solve the disaster problems. The first phase is preparations, the second, prompt rescue operations, and the third, rehabilitation. The important parts, which are, prevention, precautionary actions, search and rescue and resettlement must be carried out at the same time. Disasters include natural disasters, man-made disasters, and disasters caused by policies or laws, and they are unavoidable. So, we must overcome them to the most possible degree.

As monsoon falls, anyone cannot say storm and flooding will not happen in the country. Relevant region and state administration councils are firstly responsible for solving the problems whenever natural disasters fall. The chairman of the region and state administration councils need to lead the process of solving the natural disaster problems immediately. To so do, the Vice-Senior General reminded the participants to solve issues related to the natural disaster management in accord with the facts involved in the permanent order of natural disaster issued in 2009, arrangements to be made by relevant ministries and evidences related to natural disaster management distributed to regions and states.

Moreover, local people from affected areas may face losses in natural disasters. Hence, relevant region and state administration councils need to make preparedness as monsoon falls. The Tatmadaw has formed the rescue teams to assist the government in 2016 if natural disasters fall. Moreover, the Tatmadaw prepares to carry out the formation, training and rescue in line with the work plan.

The Tatmadaw has much experie-nce related to natural disasters. Those attending the meeting cooperate in the tasks how to overcome natural disasters by studying the handbooks based on experiences in cyclonic storm Nargis in 2008, flooding in Kalay area of Sagaing Region in 2015, storms and other natural disasters, 2013 management law and 2015 management rules.

In conclusion, the Vice-Senior General noted that the government, ministries and the Tatmadaw must join hands in overcoming natural disasters in accord with the motto: all survivors must be alive.

Vice Chairmen of the committee Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut and Union Minister Dr Thet Thet Khine reported on preparations of work committee led by respective ministries for prevention of natural disasters, mitigation, response, rescue and cooperation, timely completion of construction tasks and allotment of the funds.

Next, committee secretary Deputy Minister U Aung Tun Khaing explained the formation of the national committee and its duties and functions.

Then, secretary of the committee and the fund raising and keeping work committee Permanent Secre-tary Dr Ko Ko Naing explained the availability of funds, spending and balance accounts and sought committee approval.

Members of the committee Union ministers reported on the Tatmadaw’s preparedness for natural disasters, natural disaster prevention preparedness measures and public awareness, procurement of search and rescue equipment, timely completion of the construction of shelter buildings and their long-term durability, cooperation in infor-mation sharing of natural disasters, enlisting of ethnic participation in disaster prevention and preparedness measures in ethnic areas, continued development programmes in the border regions that experienced losses caused by natural disasters, confirmed collection of data about losses caused by natural disasters, public awareness and release of information, allotment of disaster emergency funds to respective ministries, regions and states, seeking of aid from international organizations, cooperation with international and regional countries, establishment of forest plantations for disaster prevention, growing of perennial trees in the surroundings areas with power plants, providing of social security grants and damages to disaster-affected people, stockpiling of rice reserves and medicine and medical equipment and implemen-tation of tasks by ministry-wise formed committees.

Afterwards, chairmen and mem-bers of the Nay Pyi Taw Council and region and state administration  councils and the chiefs of staff (Army, Navy and Air) explained reduction in and response to natural disasters in regions and states, search and rescue preparations in any place or region and progress of work depending on availability of funds.

Then, participants took part in the discussions on national level measures for prevention of natural disasters.

Afterwards, the secretary of the committee explained the decisions made at the meeting 1/2021 of the committee and sought the approval.

Then, Chairman of the committee Vice-Senior General Soe Win delivered concluding remarks, saying “Reviewing the discussions, the practical implementation of laws, rules and orders is essential in order to overcome natural disasters that destroy socio-economic lives of the people at the national level and necessary action must be taken in no time. As there are 43 members on the committee, it is necessary to be careful about preventing discrepancies between plans and practical implementation and to find out ways and means for better cooperation. It is also important for departmental personnel, military and civilian officials who will implement the plans on the ground to take measures in accordance with the plans and to mobilize the people to participate in mock exercises. Only then, will ministries, relevant councils, the Tatmadaw and the entire people be able to participate unitedly in case of natural disasters. As it cannot be assumed that natural disasters come only once, it is necessary for responsible officials to find out ways and means for better cooperation. Ministries that are mainly responsible for prevention of natural disasters are required to join hands with relevant ministries to compile more sufficient data. It is also necessary to include disaster management in advanced refresher courses for civil servants and preparations must be made to provide emergency assistance in respective states and regions in case of natural disasters. In conclusion, the Vice-Senior General urged the participants to fulfil their duties energetically.