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Shelter construction in Myanmar stalled as rainy season enters full swing

Residents of Yangon, Myanmar, are suffering after a recent earthquake followed by torrential downpours have halted construction to rebuild homes of those who survived the series of natural disasters, IRIN reports.

The aftermath of the late March 6.8 magnitude earthquake still lingers as 88 families in 24 affected villages seek shelter by way of makeshift tents as they wait for the rain season to die down so building materials can be brought in, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) told IRIN.

In total, the earthquake left over 3,000 families displaced. Nearly 75 individuals lost their lives, and 125 were injured.

Aid was initially given out by government officials, individual donors and local and international humanitarian organizations, but with the rainy season in full swing, it has become increasingly challenging for agencies to deliver proper aid.

"It has been difficult to transport timber and construction materials due to heavy rains in Tarlay," Akbar Usmani, acting resident representative of UNDP, told IRIN.

Many of the homes destroyed were poorly constructed, so UNDP and UN-Habitat, UN settlements programs are working to make sure new homes built will be better equipped to handle future natural disasters. They plan to educate locals on design techniques and proper construction practices so they can help themselves should another disaster strike.
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