As a homeless flood victim, are you happy with the help you’ve received?

The collapse of a dam in Attapeu province on July 23 led to devastating floods that caused severe damage in 13 villages and impacted thousands of people. The government, organisations and individuals inside and outside the country donated money and relief materials for those who have been left homeless.
Vientiane Times visited the area recently and asked people living in shelters about the assistance they had received.

People living in shelters receive health checks at Sanamxay district hospital.

Ms May Ngeng, a resident of Khokkong village currently living in a camp in Sanamxay town centre: I’m very happy with the assistance and supplies that
we’ve got from the government, various organisations and individuals. So many groups have come here to distribute relief supplies, which are essential because we have nothing left after the floods. If we didn’t get any assistance from the government and the public, we could not have helped ourselves at all and would be struggling to survive. We’ve been given many things, but we’re still not self-sufficient and need more. As an older person, I need more medicine as well as health services and a better place to sleep. Right now we’re sleeping on a hard floor inside a tent. It’s difficult to sleep like this and it gets wet when it rains.
Ms Damdy Keokhounmy, a resident of Khokkong village currently living at a camp in Sanamxay town centre: Like other people here, my family members and I are very grateful for all the help and facilities we’ve been given by the government and other groups. We’ve been given tents to sleep in, and food and drinking water. We’ve also got clothes and some money. These things have helped us to survive. Of course, we still need many more things for our daily use. I need more rice and cooking utensils because we can’t live without rice and we can’t cook without utensils.
Ms Kommaly Luangaphay, a resident of Khokkong village currently living at a camp in Sanamxay town centre: Everyone here needs help. We can’t help ourselves because everything we had has been lost or destroyed in the floods. It’s very good that the government helped us so quickly after the flood struck. If that hadn’t been the case, we may have been in a worse state than we are now. Our basic needs have been met and we have clothes, a place to sleep, and food to eat each day. It’s wonderful that so many people from Laos and other places have helped us so extensively, and we would like to thank them all.
Ms Phounxay, a resident of Khokkong village currently living at a camp in Sanamxay town centre: I’m very happy and grateful for everything we’ve been given, including the sanitary and healthcare services provided. It’s also good that the government and other groups provided school uniforms and educational supplies for the children. Our life in the camp is okay and we’re getting assistance every day from the government, international organisations and members of the public, but we still need a lot more in the way of basic household items. And we will continue to need help for a long time to come.
Mr Thongsone Bonelengcheu, the Chief of Thasengchan village currently living in the Bok village camp: It’s very good that the government has helped the flood victims at all the camps that have been set up. People from my village living in this camp are very happy with the assistance and relief supplies we regularly receive. We have got help from the healthcare and sanitation authorities and we have clean water and toilets. We would rather have temporary or permanent houses instead of tents because it’s very hot and wet right now. Of course, we also need farmland so we can grow rice and other crops so that we can provide for ourselves.
Mr Xemphone, a resident of Thasengchan village currently living at the Bok village camp: All of the assistance and relief supplies we’ve been given is very important and meaningful for everyone here. We are thankful that we have food and drinking water. Every day we go to pick up supplies from the committee. It’s very good that so many organisations have come to our aid. But of course we’d like to have a normal life like we did before. We can’t put roots down anywhere and we need more money because we don’t have any way to earn an income. The authorities have given us money but it doesn’t last long. I would like to thank the government and the public for all their help and ask them to continue the good work.

By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update September 19, 2018)

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