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Laos Flood Relief Crowdfunding

£1,625 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 12 months
"Let's Give Today to Change Tomorrow".

The lives of thousands of Laotians have been and continue to be drastically effected due to the dam collapse in southern Laos. Flash floods across villages have claimed several lives and have left many displaced and in urgent need of basic necessities such as food, water, clothing and medicine.

Panyathip - The British International School in Laos would like your support in assisting ongoing flood relief efforts. Your donation will go towards providing humanitarian aid to the individuals and families at the centre of this disaster. Panyathip will make the first donation of £100. Donate any amount that you can, as every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Photo credits to photographer.
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‘How could this happen?’
A soft rain falls on the thick mud that covers the road and the broken houses. The village is silent. “How could this have happened?” we wonder. We have never seen anything like this before.

The tok tok tractor grinds to a halt in the deep mud. Mr Lavee, 40, stands in his black rain boots before a two-story wooden house, only the roof, pillars and broken ceiling still standing.

“That was my house. When the flood came, I heard an old man shouting, ‘Run! The water’s coming!’ I turned and saw a surge of water coming very fast, straight at us. I jumped into my boat, along with my wife and brother.

“I don’t remember how we lost the boat. The next thing I knew, we were all struggling to swim against the current. Just then, a larger boat came toward us. ‘Hold on! I’m coming for you!’ The man on the boat pulled my wife from the water, but the current dragged me downstream. The boat caught up to me and I was pulled in. But my brother was missing. We were reunited later at the emergency shelter.”

Mr Lavee’s eyes are red from crying, and he turns away before his tears can fall again.

“I won’t leave my home. The wood I used to build this house is the only thing I have left in this world.” His face is streaked with dried tears. “Do you have any food?”

Rain falls steadily outside. We take our time with each family, offering our condolences and opening our hearts to hear what they’re ready to share.

Ms Chansai

“We got no warning of the dam collapse. If we had at least a couple hours’ advance warning, we could have managed to run to safety. My son and I had just arrived home and were about to start dinner when I heard people yelling, ‘Run! Run! The water’s coming!’ The floodwaters hit, and all I could do was jump from my house and swim.

“Houses collapsed one by one as the water raged around me. I had drifted far from home when I realized that my small son was still asleep inside the house. I swam back, but the water had risen over the front door. I managed to swim up to the roof, where many of our neighbors had taken refuge, and carried out my son. I held him in my arms and watched as bodies floated by – one, then another, then another – along with big trees and collapsed houses.

“I don’t want to talk any more. I can’t get the image of those bodies out of my head. My elderly parents are still missing, and I have no idea if they are dead or alive.”

Ms Yae

Ms Yae, a soft-spoken young woman, is six months pregnant. “The flood came without warning,” she says. “First, the water reached my waist, then the next moment, it was up to my neck, and the next moment it was over my head and I was carried away by the current. I couldn’t see anything but the tops of big trees. I did my best to try to swim, feeling my baby inside me.

“My husband swam up to me and tried to push me up, but that left him struggling under the water. I can’t remember how long we fought to survive until my parents came with a boat and helped us to safety.

“Now I’m staying here in this camp with my family. It’s dirty and we only have a tiny space. We grabbed whatever we could to put on the floor to sleep, but some people have nothing and sleep on the floor just like that. But most of us can’t sleep. We just cry. We miss our homes, we miss our loved ones, and know we have lost everything.

“My body is tired. My mind is tired. I don’t know who will take responsibility for this loss.”

Ms Chanhdee

“I heard the water coming from the north end of the village. It sounded like a strong wind, ‘woo woo.’ My husband grabbed our six-year-old son, and the three of us jumped from the house into our boat. But the boat had been damaged by the floodwaters. We looked at one another, no idea what to do, as fear set in.

“My husband was swept one way, my son the other way, and I drifted further and further from them. I shouted to my son, ‘Hold on to that tree, hold it tight! We’ll come for you soon!’ My little boy tried his best to hold on to the tree, but the water was coming too fast and he was washed away. Luckily, he managed to grab on to an electric pole. A neighbor came by with his boat and helped us all on to the roof of a house.” She smiles a brave smile.

We step outside to find a little boy sitting in front of the gate while his mother goes off in search of food and bedding. “Do you remember how the river came?” The little boy says nothing, but uses his hand to show us the level of river, moving quickly from his knee up to his neck.

Aunt Keochai

Ms Keochai is a young mother who has just arrived at the shelter. “I am lucky to have found my way back to the world of the living. I can’t remember how I managed to grab my sleeping baby. We are from Ban Muang village – the flood reached our village later than Ban Mai and the other villages. We all took refuge on a roof. If our neighbors who survived the flood hadn’t come back to search for us, we would not be alive today.”

Mai

Miss Mai is 13 years old. “Today is the fifth day after the dam collapse. I am still wearing the same clothes. My body is so itchy and sticky; I just want to take a shower and change my clothes.

“I saw dead bodies floating by. It was something I never imagined I would have to see in my life.

“There was no warning at all. Suddenly water was pouring in from all directions. I fought to survive and to help others, but my sister and her family are still missing.

“My sister is Noy. She’s about 17 years old, and has a new baby. I am going back to look for her. She might still be alive, and cold, hungry, and thirsty. We’ve lost everything and we have nothing left. I hope our government will feel our loss and help us.”

Uncle Vee

Uncle Vee is 45 years old. “We had no idea the flood was coming. I heard people yell outside my house, ‘Flood! Run, brothers and sisters!’ I ran outside and found the water already rushing over my door. My wife and daughter had not yet returned from the rice fields. I took refuge on a nearby roof, sick with worry.

“When the rescue team took us to the emergency shelter, I didn’t rest, but ran here and there searching for my family. Finally, I spotted my daughter sitting alone, crying. I ran to hug her and we both cried together.

“I couldn’t find my wife. I grabbed my daughter’s hand and we walked to another camp, where we finally found my wife. It was a miracle.

“From the moment the flood hit, I thought we would all die. I don’t know who will take responsibility for this loss of life, and I don’t know what’s next for my family and the others. If we settle down again in the same village, we will live with the fear of not knowing when this might happen again.”

A warning
As of this writing, 30 people are dead and at least 101 remain missing. The collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy Dam caused 6,000 people in Laos to be displaced, and an additional 5,000 downstream in Cambodia. Most of the survivors we spoke to didn’t know what they were going to do next. They had no idea who would take responsibility for the loss of life, and destruction of their homes and land from the dam collapse.
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In 4 days we have had 20 donations for wonderful people amounting to 1130 pounds, so we have exceeded above 10% of our target. So happy with the responses and hope we can continue the momentum if reaching our target.
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Read a Previous Update

£1,625 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 12 months
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SS
£135
Sandro Saviolo
10 months ago
SW
£150
Sara Wheeler
11 months ago
RH
£150
Robert Hesse
11 months ago
£35
Mikako Imai
11 months ago
BJ
£25
Bleddyn Jones
11 months ago
JL
£50
Jill and Adrian Lay
11 months ago
DD
£50
D Davis
11 months ago
PR
£100
Pete & Christine Reynolds
11 months ago
KH
£50
Katharina Haack
11 months ago
NJ
£30
Nia Jones
11 months ago
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