Globally, calamities seem to strike with increased frequency. This October Myanmar experienced a staggering 7.87 inches of rain in just eight days, the highest in 59 years. The most severely affected area is the Bago region in the southern-central plains, covering approximately 39,400 square kilometers -- about twice the area of New Jersey. Bago town, situated about 80 kilometers -- 50 miles -- from Yangon, has been submerged by the rising waters of the Bago River. Fearful of potential electrocution risks, the authorities suspended the power supply. Overall, an estimated 14,000 people have been left homeless as a result of the flooding.
Unite to Aid the People
In face of such a disaster, even those living on houseboats can no longer find solace. Tzu Chi volunteers are steadfastly committed to ensuring that those in the disaster-stricken areas have warm meals. Wherever accessible, volunteers use small boats to deliver food, driven by the sole wish that the residents receive not just nourishment for their bodies but also comfort for their spirits.
The scale of the disaster is vast. Buddhist monks from the Yangon Thamain Daw Daya Monastery reached out to Tzu Chi volunteers, asking for assistance in helping the residents through this trying time. The volunteers collaborated with three temples in the Yangon area and Danyin township to prepare and cook meals; they showed a unity of purpose transcending any boundaries. The primary goal is to alleviate the immediate hunger of the residents.
The Impact on Residents' Livelihoods
The floods have disrupted the livelihoods of the residents. Tzu Chi volunteers, led by Guo Bao-yu (郭寶鈺), conducted a survey in the disaster-stricken area on October 9th. From the 10th to the 13th of October, they distributed over 27,000 meal boxes, bread, and drinking water, with 155 volunteer shifts involved.
A motorcyclist who received a meal box expressed gratitude; he said that the flood had deprived him of work and income and plunged him into hardship. He deeply appreciated the warm meal provided by Tzu Chi volunteers, saying: "Being able to have a full meal now is a blessing."
Climate change has escalated the frequency of climate-related disasters. What used to be once-a-year flooding is occurring twice this year. While natural disasters are merciless, human compassion and love prevail, paving the way for the affected communities to swiftly resume their normal lives.
What Can We Do for Mother Earth?
Here are several stories of how Tzu Chi is dedicated to environmental conservation efforts aimed at mitigating global warming.
Invest in our planet- Net Zero Green Living
Story by Chen Yongsheng, Chen Yongting, Huang Lufa
Chinese Edited by Yang Ya Ying