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Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp Fire Recovery Update

17 April 2012

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the Australian trade union movement, we pleased to report that we have been able to contribute over $16,000 to assist with the Umpiem fire recovery effort.

The rebuilding of one of the more than 1,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the fire.
The rebuilding of one of the more than 1,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the fire.

Read our blog on the recovery and the 'permanently temporary' nature of life as a Burmese refugee

Summary
In the Umpiem Mai camp, we have worked with our partner, the Karen Women Organisation (KWO), for many years, proving capacity building training to women in areas such as financial management; human rights; income generation skills; women's protection; health and education; and sexual and gender-based violence training.

Since the fire, KWO have been working with other organisations in the camp to coordinate the relief needed. Items required range from basic food and shelter to non-food household items such as cooking goods, clothing, mosquito nets, blankets and sleeping mats and stoves. Camp infrastructure was badly damaged with water pipes damaged, several communal latrines destroyed and two nursery schools burnt down. Maintaining hygiene and containing outbreaks of diseases, such as diarrhoea, is also a major concern.

Together with a larger international organisation, the Thai Burma Border Consortium, KWO have decided to focus on the shelter needs of those affected by the fire. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the Australian trade union movement, we pleased to contribute over $16,000 to assist with this work.

Most families have now moved back to the site of their original home and are living under plastic tarpaulins and other salvaged materials. The families have assisted in cleaning up the debris and re-stabilizing the soil in preparation for rebuilding.

The construction of these new homes has also began in earnest with the main building materials - bamboo, eucalypt poles, thatch roofing and nails - being procured and delivered. It is estimated that over 120,000 bamboo poles will be required as well as 18,000 eucalypt poles, 170,000 units of grass thatch and 4,500 kg of nails.

This appeal has now closed. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA would like to thank everyone who contributed in such a timely and generous manner.


Contact Details
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
Ph:  (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
office@apheda.org.au

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