Myanmar Floods Relief – Ops Update

SUITCASE SAVER TURNED INTENSE BURDEN TO INSTANT BLESSING FOR STRANDED VICTIMS Singapore's private sector collaboration initiated mobile water treatment & distribution network

12 August 2018 - The relief team from Singapore's private sector successfully delivered six units of light-weight portable water treatment systems to support the floods relief efforts across the affected areas of Bago, Kayin and Mon in Myanmar.  ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) facilitated the Singapore team's official offer for assistance to the Myanmar Government, while the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore provided diplomatic support for the team's participation and contribution to the assistance.

Tuesday, 7 August : The 4-man team from Aquayana and HSL Constructor  presented five units of the Suitcase Saver SS400 system to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) under the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.  DDM's deputy director-general, U Than Htut Swe, officially received the Singaporean aid from Aquayana Chief Executive and veteran humanitarian, Hassan Ahmad, at DDM's regional headquarter in Yangon. A training session was conducted for the local technicians on the setting up, function and maintenance of the system.

The Singapore-made SS400 systems, which churn 400 litres of potable water and powered by car battery, were pledges from City Developments Limited (CDL) Group; Aquayana, HSL Constructor and the Association of Process Industry (ASPRI).  Singapore's regional airline, SilkAir, once again waived the excess baggage for the aid cargo from Singapore, having done similarly for the floods relief mission to Laos the week before.  The airline's ground team in Yangon also helped expedite the smooth retrieval and Customs clearance of the aid cargo there.

Wednesday, 8 August : The team partnered the DDM of Bago district to deploy the water systems at flood-stricken areas of Madawk and Shwe Kyin.  The Singapore team initiated a mobile water treatment and distribution network (using boats) to reach and serve river communities which are stranded or inundated by the floods. The team treated flood waters at submerged doorsteps for instantaneous collection by the affected families.

Thursday, 9 August : Another unit of SS400 was handed over to the non-government organisation, Myanmar’s Heart Development Organization (MHDO), an active local humanitarian relief and development outfit, which has been extending assistance for the current floods crisis.

Three of the six Suitcase Saver SS400 were pledged by the CDL Group, which raised funds for the water treatment systems through the collection of direct donations and sale of charity lunch boxes by four of its Millennium & Copthorne hotels in Singapore. The Group also matched dollar-for-dollar for proceeds from the sale of the lunch boxes.  Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer, said, "Our thoughts go out to the victims of the floods and their families. Access to clean water has been particularly challenging with wells and trusted water sources contaminated and roads damaged.  We hope that our efforts will help to urgently provide clean and potable water to the flood-affected communities."

The SS400 was conceptualised by Singapore's water solutioning firm Aquayana, and further developed with HSL Constructor, which recently completed the construction of the third desalination plant in Singapore.