Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Mirpur Fire - a daytoday disaster

This blog is focussing on a small scale humanitarian crisis that affected the community we work with. A fire hit one of the refugee camps on Friday, and in under an hour 100 homes were destroyed and two or three hundred others were damaged.

SEEP is providing emergency short term relief, while we get proposals into the donors for proper assistance. We spend the $200 in our budget within the first 24 hours, and are now spending money generously donated by the expat community either here in Dhaka or in Australia.

SEEP seems to be the only NGO working to provide emergency relief. The local MP is providing 2000 taka per family, and the local community are providing some food, but as you can see from the photos 2 nights after the fire, the famillies are still living in very bad conditions.

We have a Community Youth Volunteer Group (20 adolescent males from the 10 refugee camps we work in), and they are co-ordinating relief efforts. We made the decision to work with the 100 famillies who had lost everything, and the CYVG quickly issued them with vouchers, and we have a list of famillies with a voucher.

We are dispensing food every day, and today have started dispensing water. As the famillies have nothing we bought 100 Jerry cans and cups. The photos show some of the boys who have lost their homes, and the CYVG dispensing cans and ticking the famillies off on the list.

As always, the forebearance of the Banglas stuns me. Whilst I was taking pictures of them queuing in the rain, one of them held their umbrella over my head. There are still big smiles for the camera even in the dreadful ruins of their homes.

Currently we are meeting their food and water needs. The next priority is shelter for the women and children, and clothing.


  • At 1:04 PM, Blogger barb michelen said…

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  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger ashik said…

    the post show date 2006, u r no longer in dhaka? back to aussi? will u come back?


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