NLD says Bogalay needs more aid for new arrivals

May 27, 2008 (DVB), More assistance is needed to help the increasing population of Bogalay refugee camps due to new arrivals from remote villages, according to National League for Democracy Relief Committee member Daw Leh Leh.

The Relief Committee members made their fifth trip to Bogalay on Sunday to provide noodles, snacks, biscuits and clothes to cyclone survivors currently staying in refugee camps in Maha Withutarama, Thutdhammajawtikarama and Maggin monasteries.

Daw Leh Leh said new refugees were coming in large numbers, and the camps were struggling to cope.

"There are more refugees in Bogalay now. Locals told us that there were approximately 1,000 newcomers in Maha Withutarama monastery and about 1,000 in Maggin monastery," she said.

Daw Leh Leh told DVB that the refugees were living in unsanitary conditions and in desperate need of help.

"There are 800 to 1,000 people living in one place every day, using water and toilets together, so I think the longer they stay together the more their health will suffer," Daw Leh Leh said.

"When we told them we would give out food supplies they started to offer prayers of respect to us so we had to tell them not to do so , we told them that we were just there on behalf of those who donated the supplies for them," she said.

"Even if private donors and social organizations can take care of food and basic needs for the survivors, it will still be very difficult for them to go back to their homes."

On their way to Bogalay, the committee members saw groups of cyclone survivors crying out for food and clothes.

"We heard their cries from the morning when we went to Bogalay until we came back at night, as if they were living in hell," Daw Leh Leh said.

The Relief Committee has asked NLD members and private donors from to donate as much as they can to help alleviate the situation of cyclone victims.

So far, the Committee has run five assistance missions for cyclone survivors in Day Da Ye, Phyar Pon, Bogalay, Myaung Mya and Latputta townships in Irrawaddy division, and Konchangone, Ton Tay and South Dagon townships in Rangoon division.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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