Service Programs

Bringing Relief to Thai Flood Victims

Bangkok, Thailand - UPF-Thailand and several affiliated organizations are delivering food and supplies to people in Bangkok and provinces to the north affected by ongoing flooding. Volunteers are preparing meals, strengthening barriers against rising waters, and giving comfort and encouragement to people in evacuation centers.

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Food, drinking water, and survival kits were delivered to people in northern Ayutthaya Province on October 18. In the Klong Noi Subdistrict of the province's Baan Preak District, the flood waters were higher than 1.5 meters, and the mayor and police supported the delivery of supplies by truck and boat. Volunteers delivered food, water, and survival kits house to house by boat. They visited an evacuation center at a temple to distribute food and survival kits as well as offer comfort and encouragement, which flood victims sometimes need even more than tangible supplies such as food and water.

Ayutthaya is 70 km north of Bangkok. The rising levels of the Chao Phraya River that begin in Thailand's northern highlands have overflowed areas of Ayutthaya and continued southward to the Pathumthani and Nontaburi Provinces and parts of Bangkok before reaching the coast further south. The rural parts of Ayutthaya Province often experience floods during the annual monsoon season, but the main highway, the city, and the industrial parks are rarely affected as they have been this year. The historic capital of Siam, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When volunteers were working that day in Ayutthaya, no one imagined that three weeks later northern Bangkok would also be under water.

UPF also donated 1,000 boxes containing meals and water packs to people in an evacuation center set up at the Rajamangkhla Sports Complex in Bangkok on October 26. The sports complex is 500 meters from the headquarters of UPF-Thailand, in the eastern part of Bangkok that has been protected by flood barriers and a tunnel from the rising waters. Volunteers also filled sand bags to help strengthen the barriers.

From November 5 to 10, the office staff of UPF-Thailand again traveled north to help flood victims. The destination was an evacuation center at the Adisorn Military Base 30 km east of Ayutthaya. Twelve hundred people from flooded regions of the Ayutthaya and Pathumtani Provinces were evacuated and housed at that site, which is on a tributary that did not overflow. The UPF staff helped cook meals and care for the people, especially the elderly and sick, and prepare donated items to distribute to the victims.

Flooding continues in parts of Bangkok and its satellite cities. Many hundreds of thousands of people have suffered damage to their houses and lack food, clean water, electricity, and other necessities of daily life. One UPF-Thailand staff member's house has been under 75 cm of water for five weeks; it is next to the flooded Dong Muang Airport on the border between Bangkok and Pathumtani

As the waters start to recede, the extent of the damage is becoming visible, and much recovery work will need to be done.

Note: More than 12 million people were affected by the flooding that began in July. for information about how to send donations for flood relief, click here.

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