How are you contributing to the flood relief effort in Attapeu?

People from all walks of life have joined forces to help people in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, survive the difficult circumstances they now face after a dam burst on July 23 and unleashed a massive flood on unsuspecting villagers. Many people have contributed not only emergency supplies and cash but also their time and skills, ranging from cooking to providing medical services in the camps that have been set up to accommodate the homeless.

 

Ms Phoudone Choummaly, Head of the Sanamxay district Women’s Union: I have been busy cooking for over a week since the flood hit. Members of Women’s Unions from various districts and provinces have joined us to help prepare food and supply ingredients every day. We have been cooking fried eggs, pork and noodles. To be honest, working in a kitchen for over a week is exhausting but at the same time we are delighted to be able to help the victims of the flood. But we still need young volunteers to help us with the cooking and preparation of ingredients. We also cook for everyone on duty at this relief centre.
Ms Phansy Vong-asa, a resident of Mithsamphanh village: My house is close to the relief centre so I have been volunteering in the kitchen here. I lost my parents-in-law after they were washed away by the floodwaters in Hinlath village. I know other people from various villages who are also in a difficult situation like that facing our family. So I will do what I can to help others by cooking in this kitchen.

Ms Thongmany Onsyphanh, a resident of Champassak province:  I have contributed to many charity events in my hometown but this tragedy is just heart-breaking. As soon as I heard the news, I came here quickly to help with cooking, as well as providing relief supplies. I don’t know when I will go home but I would like to stay and help with the cooking for as long as possible. I don’t consider that what I’m doing is hard work because the people who live in flooded villages are facing even tougher challenges.

Mr Martin Vanderdyck, a mental health specialist from the World Health Organisation: I’ve been in Sanamxay district for a couple of days to provide advice and services to people who have been made homeless and are now living in various temporary camps. I try to provide psychological support because many people have lost family members and are at risk of suffering from depression. I am here along with mental health specialists from Mahosot Hospital. It is good to be able to help people who are in need of care and counselling.

Dr Bounhome Kanthavong, Head of the Mental Health Unit at Mahosot Hospital:  There are lots of things to cope with here because so many people are in a bad situation and some are understandably depressed. We in the health sector need to partner with other sectors to try to help those in need as soon as possible. 

Dr Phoutthavong Phothisansack from Attapeu provincial hospital: We’ve been here for almost a week since the flood hit. We will be on standby for 10 days until another team comes to replace us. We provide initial healthcare for those who need it and provide medicines for mothers and children. I feel that in this way we can share our sympathy, as they are really in need of help. It’s not only about food, accommodation and drinking water, but healthcare is also important too.

By Bounfaeng Phaymanivong
(Latest Update August 07, 2018)


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