Saturday, 21 June 2008

Mon state TOLD to send 70 water buffaloes and 27 men to cyclone hit delta


20 Jun 2008, Mon state authorities have been ordered to send 70 water buffaloes and 27 men to work in the cyclone hit Irrawaddy delta. The Mon state authorities are collecting the buffaloes and have ordered each Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) to help in finding buffaloes.

According to a village headman, Thanpyuzayart TPDC held a meeting with the local village headman and secretary to collect funds for buying buffaloes and search for buffaloes.

"We have already asked two men from our township to go there," the headman said.

Mon state has already sent a number of cows to Irrawaddy delta. The authorities also collected money from the people to help cyclone victims.

Currently the military regime is trying to bring 6000 buffaloes from others states and divisions and it can only plough 15 percent of farm land inundated by water where mechanized tillers will not work, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on June 18. The FAO is urging foreign governments to immediately donate another 5,000 buffaloes.

FAO said USD 83 million is needed to help farmers recover. Its report said 52,000 farming families who are facing hunger and poverty. If they are not able to plant rice crops for the main November harvest they will starve.

FAO said USD 51 million is needed for a two-year rehabilitation plan to rebuild the finishing industry, re-plant destroyed mangrove swamps and replace around 120,000 farm animals. The delta grows an estimated 60 percent of the country's rice.

The junta said Cyclone Nargis killed more than 78,000 people while another 56,000 people are missing.

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