PHUKET: A family refuge shelter in Khukkhak
, just north of the popular Phang Nga tourist area of Khao Lak Beach, is calling for item donations to aid 46 Rohingya women and children who are now in the shelter’s care.
“Most of them are children,” Dararat Suthet, the director of the Phang Nga Shelter for Children and Family, told the Phuket Gazette
Many people have already donated dried foods and personal items, including clothes. However, the center needs more to provide adequate care for the refugees.
“I would like to invite anyone to make a contribution of dried foodstuffs or any daily effects the women and children might need. For the food, please bring items marked as halal, as they are Muslim,” Ms Dararat said.
The shelter, located not more than 70km from the northern tip of Phuket, also needs assistance from any persons who can communicate with the Rohingya in their native language, she added.
“I would like to ask anyone who can speak their language to come and help us. This would make a significant difference in our ability to take care of them,” she said.
Public Health officers are now at the shelter ensuring the refugees are in good health or at least recovering from any ailments. The officers are also administering vaccines to the children to protect them from contagious diseases, Ms Dararat said.
Concerned that the facilities at the shelter may not be enough to cope with the 46 new arrivals, Khukkhak Mayor Sawat Tankeng ordered local municipality officers to install mobile toilets, as well as bolster water supplies at the refuge so that the refugees could bathe.
“I was afraid the shelter could not handle the almost-50 people without support,” he said.
Komon Doomluck, who is the deputy secretary-general of the Central Islamic Council of Thailand and the president of the Phuket Islamic Committee, thanked everyone who had already stepped up to provide assistance to the Rohingya and called on all Thais to lend a hand.
“When our brothers and sisters are in trouble, we must lend a hand. We are looking after these people because we are all equal. Everyone should have a chance to live equally,” he said.
“I am glad that this time the people of Phuket and Phang Nga have the chance to work together. I would like to ask everyone in Thailand to lend a hand and help these refugees. Please, simply donate a few items to them, as they have already left so much behind in the hope of finding better life,” he added.