The Prince of Thailand has thanked ShelterBox for its involvement in the floods with its fast response and distribution of emergency aid, improving the lives of thousands of displaced people.
‘The Prince summoned me and the local Rotary District Governor to meet with him at an evacuation centre, as he wanted to understand more of what ShelterBox was doing in Thailand,’ ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Scott Robinson (US) explained. ‘He was very impressed with our fast distribution of tents and was grateful for the work that ShelterBox has been doing to help the country.’
SRT members have been working hard over the past two months providing emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to families affected by the worst flooding the Asian country has experienced in over 50 years.
Scott and Abner Tayco (PH), another SRT member, have been concentrating their efforts in Nonthaburi, the most densely populated and second largest province after Bangkok - its neighbouring city. Since mid-October it has been cut off from civilisation due to floodwaters not receding.
Families have been living along roadsides and on bridges either in the back of trucks or in makeshift shelters. Some have draped tarpaulin over tractors and farm equipment to escape the high waters.
The ShelterBox Response Team has been distributing ShelterBoxes throughout the region and putting up tents at dry, accessible locations helping hundreds of families.
‘I have not been able to work for two months and my children cannot walk to school as the canal has overflowed over the path they take,’ one displaced mother told Scott. ‘We rely on selling fruit and vegetables but the trees in our mango grove are dying due to the floods. For now we have shelter and when the waters recede we will be able to use the toolkit to rebuild our home and our lives. Thank you ShelterBox!’
The SRT members have also been working with the Thai Red Cross to set up tents at evacuation centres at schools across Nonthaburi. Families had been living in the classrooms but they soon found refuge in ShelterBox tents. The tents not only provided them with shelter, warmth, dignity and comfort but also freed up the classrooms so that children could return to school.
ShelterBox has distributed over 1000 tents and 2500 mosquito nets in Thailand with the help of the Thai Red Cross, Rotarians and the local government and continues to assess for further need.