Relief aid to inferno victims pours in, UNHCR set up a taskforce

Beldangi/Kathmandu: The inferno in Sector ‘E’ of Bendangi-II camp yesterday has destroyed 98 huts and at least 135 huts were voluntarily demolished to prevent fire from spreading.

The destroyed huts include units E/1, E/2, E/3, D/3 and D/4 in Beldangi-II camp.

The displaced exiled Bhutanese are taking shelter in nearby school buildings of Sector ‘E’ school and in the premises of Bhutanese Refugee Women Forum in Beldangi-II camp.

People from Beldangi-I, II and extension have donated preliminary most-basic stuffs to inferno victims today.

A relief aid committee comprising at least 60-members has been formed under the leadership of the camp secretary of Beldangi-II Narad Muni Sanyashi.

Representatives of the relief aid agencies including the UNHCR have reached the site to inspect the vulnerable situation.

According to the inspector at the Damak-based Sub-Police Post Kamal Thapa, the inferno has caused a damage of an estimated 3.27 crore Nepalese rupees.

The inferno has greatly affected the students of Grade eight who were writing their district level board examination.

At estimated 241 students affected from the inferno appeared their today’s examination at nearby Tri-Ratna Secondary School after their school Pancha-Oti English School turned into ashes.

Refugee camp-based various social and other organizations have urged the well-wishers, exiled Bhutanese abroad, aid-agencies, among others to extend all sorts of possible support to inferno victims.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued today, the UNHCR office in Nepal said a taskforce has been set up to assess the damage and coordinate assistance.

The statement said the inferno has left some 1,450 refugees homeless..

“It is tragic and we will do everything we can to help and to get shelter and food supplies to them as quickly as possible,” said Daisy Dell, UNHCR Representative in Nepal.

“Everybody around, refugees, Nepalese authorities, and UNHCR staff and its partners rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire with the help of the fire brigade from Damak and with whatever they had – water, clothes, and banana leaves,” Daisy added.

It is estimated that some 1,450 of the 20,657 refugees in Beldangi II camp are now homeless.

The statement further said that the Nepalese government has started providing emergency dry food items, WFP has already started distributing one week ration, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), through UNHCR funding, will distribute bamboos and tarpaulin sheets to construct temporary shelters and latrines to all affected families.(bhutannews)

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