Fire victims in Karenni refugee camp need aid: camp officials

Around three dozen Karenni refugees whose homes were burned down in a July 5 blaze are in need of basic supplies, according to camp officials.

The fire destroyed 33 homes in Karenni Refugee Camp 1 on the Thai-Myanmar border. Those whose homes were destroyed are currently staying with relatives.

The victims need tarpaulin, clothes and kitchen utensils, according to Khu Lwi Zi, secretary of the Karenni Refugee Committee. The Karenni refugee camp’s administrative office has been providing food.

“They will be able to rebuild [their homes] next week after wood and bamboo arrives. We have only received the roofs for the houses whose roofs have been destroyed,” said Khu Lwi Zi.

The roofs of 37 homes were destroyed to stop the spread of the fire, he added.

The fire, which broke out in Ward 5 of the Karenni Refugee Camp around 10pm on July 5, is believed to have been caused by negligence, but the case is still under investigation.

Karenni refugees have been living in several refugee camps in Thailand for nearly three decades. Fires are a common scourge. In a March 2013 incident, 40 people died and over 400 houses in the Karenni Refugee Camp 2 burned.

In April 2015, a fire in camp 1 left 1,000 refugees homeless.