Julian Ray Photography

Flooding

This summer saw the central lowlands of Burma (Myanmar) severely affected by flooding caused by the deadly combination of unusually heavy Monsoon rains, Cyclone Komen engulfing the entire Bay of Bengal, and the full Moon tides that typically are the highest of the year in July, just as the Cyclone made landfall.

In covering some of the worst affected communities in Magway Division, Sagaing Division, and Rakhine State I came to learn a little about the severe impact the flooding had on Myanmar and her people.

Gradually I also became aware of how, for hundreds of generations, flooding is a regular aspect of daily life for many people who live along most rivers in Burma. For centuries the rivers have interacted with the tides and Monsoons, expanding and contracting with the volume of water they carry. So too the people who work and live along these rivers have learned to cope with the reality that the ever changing rivers impose on them.

Recently I spent some time in one of these tiny villages learning about daily life and how the river influences every aspect life. As with most facets of life here the Myanmar (Burma) people have an astounding ability to cope, adapt, and survive, always with a quiet strength and ferocious dignity that never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

Here are a few moments from that exploration.

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A heartfelt thank you to all the people of Nyaung who without exception welcomed me not only into their village but into their homes and lives as well.

According the most recent study by the UN 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of water-related diseases. Globally almost 1 billion people do not have adequate access to safe drinking water. A figure that is on the rise!

If you would like to help please support one of the many programs and initiatives offered by www.wavesforwater.org

I look forward to seeing you out there….

Thank you,

Julian Ray
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