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Refugee Camps in Northern Thailand Destroyed by Floodwaters, ADRA Responds

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SILVER SPRING, Md. - Weeks of torrential rains poured over parts of Northern Thailand, prompting rivers to swell before eventually overflowing. Excess river water gushed into neighboring refugee camps in the Mae Hongson province, destroying hundreds of temporary shelters and causing substantial destruction. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing materials to rebuild various essential facilities in the affected area.

Responding to a request made by the Karen Refugee Committee, ADRA is purchasing and distributing toilet bowls and cement in efforts to immediately construct urgently needed restrooms. The latest report from ADRA Thailand indicated more than 400 toilets were destroyed by floodwaters, increasing the risk of water borne diseases.

Additionally, the Agency is purchasing and distributing nails for the rebuilding of bridges, a number of which have been reported damaged or washed away, making travel from one refugee community to the next very difficult. Moreover, the Agency is purchasing materials for house repair. Items include bamboo, plywood and tin sheets, providing a significant improvement from the usual leaf covered housing used by many refugees.

According to the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), a consortium of international non-governmental organizations working with refugees in the affected region, the Mae Ra Ma Luang camp suffered the most damage. Aside from houses, school buildings, libraries, roads and farms were destroyed by the destructive floodwaters. TBBC has further reported more than 200 metric tons of food stored in warehouses was destroyed. These stockpiles of food were highly valuable as they were to be used as rations during the rainy season.

Situated in the southwestern district of Mae Sariang, ADRA's response is assisting the Mae Ra Ma Luang and Mae La Oon camps. This small mountainous district is nestled alongside the Salween River, in close proximity to the Myanmar border.

ADRA International, ADRA Thailand, and the regional ADRA Asia offices funded this response.