A Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR-Team) is now in Myanmar to advise the Government on flood control and solutions for flash floods. After hurricane Komen severely affected the country last summer, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment offered Nyan Tun Aung, Minister of Transport of Myanmar, a DRR-Team to support the reconstruction process in the country. A DRR-Team consists of pre-selected experts from the Dutch Water Sector, which can quickly be fielded thanks to the support of the Dutch government.

DRR-Team Myanmar focuses on two regions:

  • Flood control and dike management in the Ayeyarwady delta region
  • Management of and early warning for flash floods in Kale Township Area (Sagaing region)

Members of DRR Team Myanmar are:
Rob Steijn (Arcadis), Hermjan Barneveld (HKV consultants), Rimmer Koopmans (Arcadis), Eisse Wijma (Royal Haskoning DHV), Joost Beckers (Deltares), Kyaw Lin Htet (Royal Haskoning DHV), and Theo Reuzenaar (Hollands Noorderkwartier Regional Water Authority). The team will split up to travel to the Ayeyarwady delta region and the Kale Township area. The team is in Myanmar from August 31 untill September 6th.

On 30 July, Cyclone Komen made landfall in Bangladesh bringing strong winds and additional heavy rains to Myanmar, which resulted in a significant expansion of monsoonal flood waters. On 31 July, the President declared Chin and Rakhine states, and Magway and Sagaing regions as natural disaster zones. Other areas, including Bago, are also severely affected, as flood waters from the north move southward. In most dike protected areas dikes were able to protect the areas behind the dikes, but many leakage and erosion problems occurred. Concerns are that high water levels during the rest of the monsoon season will cause more severe problems.