On April 24 a devastating fire struck a slum community in the Rama 9 area of Bangkok. Fifty-one homes were destroyed leaving 178 people homeless, including 61 children and 117 adults. Among the homeless are four children with severe disabilities and 11 elderly residents.
The situation is dire. Most families in this community are headed by parents who work as day laborers, earning below the minimum daily wage (300 baht - approx. US $10.) Like most slum residents, they are already over-burdened with household debt. And following the fire they have lost what little they ever called their own.
The slum community leaders and residents have asked our Mercy Centre to assist.
Our outreach and housing teams are working hand in hand with the community. In addition to providing emergency assistance with food and shelter, we are helping the community to organize and petition government welfare and housing offices in order to rebuild the 51 homes as quickly as possible.
There are obstacles all along the way. Even removing the debris left in the wake of the fire is a major hurdle that requires petitioning government authorities. As soon as we can, we will start to rebuild.
Please help us as the need is urgent. The government will provide some support; and the community itself will provide much of the labor; but our own costs in rebuilding the community, home by home, are staggering. Please see the detailed housing costs below. Our out-of-pocket costs are 54,000 Thai Baht (approximately US $1,800) per home
Slum fires create chaos, especially when they hit squatter communities, like this one, where the residents have few or no rights to rebuild their homes on the land where they have lived their whole lives.
In the past 40 years we have come to the aid of dozens of communities throughout Bangkok – and built over 10,000 homes - following major slum fires. We know how to expedite construction and how to rebuild in ways that strengthen the community and make it safer. In every instance, we have needed additional support from our friends around the world.
Please help as you can today. The community needs to move quickly if it is to survive as a community. Please contact us if you would like more details. Pictured above - community residents left homeless; below, remnants of their homes.
Per home reconstruction costs: (Thai Baht)
Foundation pillars: 4,000
Door/Door frames: 2,000
Dry wall: 3,500
Screws, nails, bolts: 500
Toilet: 1000 Plus
Electric and Water: 20,000
Food/Emergency Aid: 1,000
Total Cost per home: 84,000 Thai Baht (note: 31 Baht = US $1)
Government Subsidy: 30,000
Mercy Centre’s Cost: 54,000 Baht per home (Approx. US $1,800)