Karenni Refugees Made Homeless By Fire To Get New Homes In May

Refugees who lost their homes to fire that ripped through the Karenni camp in early April, will have their homes rebuilt in early May according to camp officials.

The fire that broke out on April , destroyed 188 houses and made homeless 867 refugees. The Karenni Camp No. 1, also known as Ban Mai Nai Soi, is on the Thai Burma border in Mae Hong Song Province

Naw Khu Paw, deputy chairperson of the Karenni Refugee Committee said reconstruction efforts have already started, but the rebuilding of new homes will start in early May 2015.

The Border Consortium (TBC), a coalition of INGO’s that has administered aid to the camps along the Thai Burma border for over two decades, ran a funding appeal for donors and its member organizations to rebuild the refugee homes. The TBC estimated the rebuilding cost at 5,074,500 TBH ($156,000 USD).

Naw Khu Paw said that the TBC is organizing the building materials for the camp.

Speaking to Karen News, Naw Khu Paw said.

“The building materials such as wood and bamboo that are to be provided by the TBC have not arrived yet. The
materials have been ordered. The clearance of the land has started and we are expecting to complete the reconstruction within a month.”

Naw Khu Paw said that camp officials were experiencing difficulties making arrangement to rebuild homes for the refugees on the same ground that their old home was burnt down as some refugees did not want to live in the old place.

“Some refugees don’t want to rebuild their homes at the same spot where their previous home were destroyed by fire. They have strong traditional beliefs about it. It seems like more than half of the affected population feel that way. It is also difficult to find new places as we have limited space.”

People made homeless by the fire are now living with their relatives or living at the camp community buildings.
The United Nation High Commission for Refugee and relevant Royal Thai Government officials are helping refugees with emergency needs, but camp residents said that there is still a need for kitchen utensils, clothes, medicine and drinking water.

This was the second fire in two years that has raged through a Karenni refugee camp. In 2013, a fire in Karenni camp No. 2 destroyed more than 400 houses and killed 30 people.

Donation to support the families affected by fire in Ban Mai Nai Soi can be made here.

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