4 million baht to reduce flood terror
Pattaya organizations and businesses have clubbed together to raise mega-funds to help with relief and reconstruction associated with the recent devastating flooding in Ayutthaya, Prathum Thani, Bangkok and the country’s central plains.
Steve Graham, president of Securitas in Thailand, decided to organize an initial meeting after realizing the awesome problems which needed urgent attention. “In late October, there were thousands of people in rural areas marooned without food, water or medical supplies and unable to move to safer ground,” he said.
Sponsorship came very quickly. Securitas put up 500,000 baht whilst Steve chipped in 250,000 baht of his own money. Rotarians quickly promised a further 200,000 baht, whilst the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya donated urgently needed medical kits.
The relief effort is being supervised overall by City Hall whilst the operational details are in the hands of the Sawangboriboon rescue foundation. Service clubs such as the Lions and businesses such as Big ‘C’ and Sophon Cable are also being approached for support.
Steve explained, “Already we have bought one fibre boat (19 feet x 1.8 metres) with a 40 horse power engine and another is being loaned out to the Sawangboriboon. There is a woeful lack of water transport to take provisions to the marooned villagers and to escort them to higher ground in the cities where they will be safe.”
He added that, as the flood waters recede, reconstruction will take months. “There are many, many thousands of people left homeless by this disaster. They are going to need a lot of financial help to rebuild their homes and to restart their shattered communities.”
Pattaya’s police chiefs are also participating in the relief operations. Chonburi Immigration has already raised cash to provide thousands of emergency aid packages and the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya is again providing medical kits to accompany them.
Meanwhile, emergency donation stations have been opened all over Pattaya to solicit cash to buy food, fresh water and emergency supplies such as bedding, mobile toilets and anti-mosquito coils. People returning from the flood-hit areas say the devastation has to be seen to be believed.
At least four million baht is expected to be raised in the newly formed Pattaya Fund to provide support for the disaster-struck communities. People interested in assisting with the mammoth project, or making donations, can contact John Cole, the Securitas general manager (089 8344375) or his Securitas colleague Khun Ming (081 8636145).