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Myanmar coordinating ways for restoration of agricultural work in cyclone-hit areas
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17:14, May 22, 2008

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The Myanmar Commerce Ministry and the country's biggest business organization of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) are coordinating ways for the restoration of agricultural work in cyclone-hit areas, outlining some urgent tasks to be undertaken promptly, the leading weekly Yangon Times reported Thursday.

Business companies are urged to import as quickly as possible agricultural implement and related materials for cultivation such as pesticides, fertilizers and crop seeds, and promptly transport them to the disaster-wrecked areas so that farmers can be able to cultivate in the present rainy season.

According to the compiled figures of the UMFCCI, a total of over 3.5 million acres (1.4 million hectares) of farmland from 20 townships were destroyed by the cyclone, including 12 townships in Yangon division, seven in Ayeyawaddy division and one in Bago division.

The weekly's report also said a total of 160 rice mills in seven townships of Ayeyawaddy division were destroyed in the storm.

Meanwhile, 10 private companies are producing ready-made processed timber material for rebuilding low-cost houses at a rate of 3,000 houses per month, the weekly added.

On Thursday, the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar also said that a total of 9,200 cyclone victims out of 33,295 from 84 villages in Mawlamyinegyun, who were moved to relief camps in Wakema township in the same division earlier for shelter, have been repatriated to their native villages to start resettlement work.

Under a post-disaster restoration plan, about 30 Myanmar private companies have been taking part in restoration work in cyclone-hit regions in the aftermath of the severe storm with assignments by the government to take the responsibility of undertaking relief and resettlement work in 17 affected townships.

Myanmar has outlined three phases of restoration work plan after being deadly hit by a tropical cyclone Nargis on May 2-3, calling for implementation of the plan with internal and international assistance.

The government has claimed that the first phase of rescue of storm victims, provision of temporary shelter, supply of food and clothes and healthcare has been underway to some extent, while the second phase sets domestic construction entrepreneurs to take part in the rehabilitation of the victims by promptly helping rebuild their respective wrecked houses in towns and villages.

The third step is to re-generate farmlands, flooded by sea water in the storm, by building embankments and sluice gates, repairing of destroyed dams and provision of paddy strains which are resistant to sea water.

Meanwhile, Myanmar announced that the government has increased spending of up to over 50 billion Kyats (over 45.45 million dollars) for relief use from 20 billion Kyats previously allotted.

The deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bayof Bengal, hit five divisions and states on May 2 and 3.

According to an updated official death toll, as many as 77,738 people have been killed with 55,917 still missing. The number of the injured amounted to 19,359.


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