This Interview with Pu Tuang Gin Mang, President of Zomi Youth Associaton was generously contributed by The Tedim Post.
Could you please tell me who you are and what you are doing nowadays, especially to the disaster affected zone, in brief?
Sure. Thanks for this interview. I am the President of the Zomi Youth Association – Tedim, a national youth organization in Chin State, Myanmar. We have to commit ourselves as volunteers to help the disaster affected victims in Northern Chin State, Myanmar. Right now, there are more than 1,300 refugees who are in need of urgent help.
[As of today, we know about] 212 [affected] households (1,381 people) in 13 villages. The number of affected victims is likely to rise since communication is so difficult. There is no phone, no contact due to damage of bridges and flood. It is impossible for them to come to the town to share the situation. We could only [reach] one village. We divided into seven groups today and our teams are on their way to seven villages now. Some of them will reach the target area today and others will need two days to reach.
Interesting! How is the intervention of government in your area?
We are working with the government as much as possible. Since even to go on foot to the affected area is very difficult, it is very hard to carry foods and aids to them. Till [today], we [haven’t received] any help or promise from State or Central government. The government and other organizations seem to focus [on] the affected cities like Kalaymyo and Hakha. Sometimes I feel we are forgotten. What our organization can do is so small.
How do you feel as you involve yourself in this activity?
I am deeply touched by the life of the victims and the situation they are facing. The way we try to reach to them is so risky and adventurous. As you might see the pictures, we use ropes to cross the flood and go through the wilderness because [of the] land sliding. Most of the situation is so urgent. This is rainy season in Myanmar. Now the rain stopped for three days. But it is sure to rain two months. Land sliding can happen any time when it rain[s]. I hope and pray that the government and NGOs come and help the victims rehabilitate their lives. They depend on cultivation but most of them will have no harvest this year. I do worry for their future.