UNHCR provides emergency relief to blaze-hit refugees

Kathmandu, November 13:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has provided emergency supplies and assistance to some 400 Bhutanese refugees in Beldangi I camp after a fire swept through part of the camp last Friday.

The UNHCR said investigation is underway, but no foul play is suspected as of now.

The fire, which broke out in Beldangi I camp on Friday evening destroyed some 68 huts, including 31 huts that were dismantled to stop the fire from spreading further.

The UNHCR statement said no burn injuries have been reported, though about 10 refugees sustained minor injuries, reportedly minor bruises and cuts while dismantling the huts. All the injuries were treated by the health facilities in the camp and no external medical referral was necessary.

The Fire Department units from Damak and Birtamod, together with refugees and police personnel, managed to get the fire under control. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Initial indications are that it was an accident, not the result of arson or foul play.

“It is most unfortunate that such a large number of houses were gutted by the fire and families affected during the Tihar festival,” said Abraham ABRAHAM, UNHCR Representative

in Nepal.

“I would like to express my sorrow for those injured and wish them a speedy recovery.”

The statement said, UNHCR, in coordination with World Food Programme (WFP) and its NGO partners, has already taken measures to rehabilitate the affected families who have been temporarily sheltered in the school complex inside Beldangi I camp.

“Response for food rations from the WFP was timely and has been distributed. Debris is being cleared and new shelter materials are being provided to help the affected families to reconstruct their houses,” the statement added.

Property gutted

PHIDIM: Property worth more than Rs 3 lakh has been damaged when a house gutted on Monday night. Millet, ornaments, cash and important documents were destroyed by the fire that broke suddenly at the house of one Taraprasad Subedi of Memeng VDC-2 of Panchthar district, DSP Mukti Shresthat of Distict Police Office, Panchthar, said. The family of seven is taking shelter at neighbour’s home, the victims of the incident said. — HNS