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“Shining Moment” with Solar Lantern from UNHCR

A UNHCR staff climbs to hand out a UNHCR solar lantern to a floods survivor who lost electricity for one month at Bangbuathong district, Nonthaburi province

 

An evening in the Prueksa 3 compound, Nonthaburi province conceals the 800 residents with blanket of darkness.  They have been surrounded by one-metre high flood living without electricity for over a month.  Solar lanterns provided by UNHCR today shines the ray of hope for them to get through this crisis.

“Since I was born I have never seen heavy floods like this.  My family still lives together. We don’t know where to go,” said Mr. Surasak Sukcharoen, a compound resident. “At night we light up the candle and firecrackers to make loud noise so that others know there are people living here…when I have the lantern, I don’t need candles.”, Surasak added.

As for 17-year old Nittaya, she had to leave her education behind and became family leader taking care of her parents and nieces. The solar lantern will protect her from harmful animals and other danger that darkness can bring. “At night I am afraid of snakes, lizards, mosquitoes and thieves. I have never been to school since the floods happened”, said Nittaya    

UNHCR provides flood relief support as a gesture of gratitude for the country’s hospitality in hosting almost 100,000 refugees for nearly three decades.  UNHCR donates 1.5 million Baht and 5,000 solar lanterns worth 7.5 million Baht for flood survivors.

“The historical floods have made many Thais face the refugee-like experience.  They have to evacuate from their homes for over a month.  We stand ready to provide support in any way possible.” Mr.James Lynch, UNHCR Representative in Thailand stated.  

UNHCR imported the solar lanterns because they help protecting flood survivors at night and indirectly they create confidence for people living in flood area for a long time.

“At day we have the sun, at night we have lantern from UNHCR.  This gives me lots of comfort. It’s like having the sun at night”, a village leader who has made all the efforts in helping his village members for almost a month said with hope.

UNHCR will join hands with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to distribute more solar lanterns in Pathumthani and Lopburi provinces which are inundated with no electricity.