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TBC Emergency Funding Appeal: Fire in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Mae Hong Son Province

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TBC is deeply saddened to confirm that 36 people have tragically died in a fire that broke out in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province on Friday 22nd March. The fire swept through two sections of the camp destroying everything in its path, apparently caused by a cooking accident. The victims reportedly included children, elderly and the disabled who were trapped by the fire, while an additional 200 people sustained injuries from the blaze. Over 400 houses were destroyed leaving 2,300 people homeless, while community buildings, schools, clinic and food warehouses were also razed to the ground.

The Royal Thai Government is leading a coordinated response to the disaster with UNHCR, and NGOs providing much needed assistance, including TBC. TBC will support this close community as it struggles to cope with such tremendous losses and grief, by ensuring basic food and shelter needs are met. An important immediate concern is also to give due respect to families and appropriate religious rites for the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Emergency Appeal: Total 13,000,000 THB (USD 433,000)

The Border Consortium (TBC) is launching an Emergency Appeal to raise the funds needed to replace essential food, homes and community buildings destroyed by the fire.

Detail of TBC’s Response

FOOD: TBC is working closely with camp committees to prepare emergency food for affected families staying in temporary sites or with relatives. Together, they have established community kitchens, preparing the TBC rations along with food donated by other organisations.

SHELTER: TBC staff have been at the camp identifying areas suitable for temporary shelters until sufficient shelter materials can be procured and new homes constructed to replace those lost in the blaze. A major site clean-up will be required to remove debris left behind and to level and re-stabilize the burnt land. A thorough needs assessment will be conducted shortly when the time is appropriate.

FIELD COORDINATION: A coordination meeting was called by the Mae Hong Son Governor immediately following the fire, with participation from UNHCR, TBC and other CCSDPT agencies, IOM, Camp Commander, Camp Leaders and the Karenni Refugee Committee. TBC has been assigned as a focal point for the Shelter and Food sectors.

Anticipated Costs

  • Food and Charcoal: 960,000 baht Rice, cooking oil, yellow split peas and charcoal that were in storage in the destroyed warehouses in Section 2 and 4 will need to be replaced. Ten days of emergency rations have also been distributed to all households. Communal cooking facilities will continue to be run by the camp committees.

  • Construction materials: 11,640,000 baht 420 houses, 2 food warehouses, 2 charcoal warehouses, and also community facilities need to be completely rebuilt.

  • Emergency items: 400,000 baht Blankets, plastic sheeting, rope, cost associated with funeral arrangements, stoves and cooking pots will be provided.

Expected Outcomes from TBC Response

  • Shelter Construction: 420 new houses built for an estimated 2,300 refugees.

  • Warehouse construction: 2 Food warehouse and 2 Charcoal warehouses are rebuilt for all residents of Section 1 and 4.

  • Community buildings: 2 nursery schools, and Karenni Women’s Organisation facilities are rebuilt.

  • Food Rations: Community kitchens are established and cooked food is prepared by the community for 2,300 refugees living in temporary shelters. The TBC ration includes rice, yellow split peas, cooking oil, AsiaREMix, salt, fish paste and charcoal.

  • Emergency items: 450 blankets, plastic sheets, rope, 840 cooking pots are provided, 420 stoves and costs associated with funeral arrangements.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Please make a donation today by visiting the TBC website and follow the Donate link. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to refugees and displaced people from Burma in this emergency.