NAM KHE, THAILAND (June 12, 2012) – Construction materials will be moved into this village, which was devastated by a violent May 7 storm, just as soon as heavy rains cease and roads dry enough to permit trucks to make the journey, reports Jim Gustafson, an Evangelical Covenant Church missionary working in the area.
The construction materials, purchased with funds provided by Covenant World Relief (CWR), were obtained locally as one way to support the local economy, Gustafson notes. The funds are being administered through the Sustainable Development Research Foundation (SDRF), a Covenant ministry partner.
“The storm took the roofs off or flattened seven of the houses in the village and caused other damage,” Gustafson writes in a recent progress update. The SDRF is responding to the needs of the seven families that were directly affected and also is working with an additional five families to help stabilize their homes to prevent them from collapsing. Click here to see additional photos of the damage.
“Our ultimate goal is to enable all of the villagers to strengthen the houses of the whole village so that they do not need to fear the coming of more storms during this monsoon season,” Gustafson says. “One of the obstacles has been the constant rainfall during the last half of May, which has made Nam Khe inaccessible by road, even with our four-wheel-drive truck!”
A high-wind construction specialist will accompany the materials on the two-and-a-half-hour journey to the village once roads are passable. “The forecast is for less rain this coming week, so we are expecting to be able to move materials,” Gustafson says. “In the meantime, we are working with the community to help them repair what they can temporarily so that families can get back into their houses – in some cases grass roof shacks have been constructed to keep them out of the rain storms.”
Gustafson expressed gratitude for the support. “We are grateful for your prayers and the contribution from CWR that is enabling us to meet the initial needs of this community. Our goal is not only to help meet the needs for stable housing in Nam Khe, but to help establish Nam Khe as a model of how to construct storm-resistant housing in an area of high winds and rain – this knowledge will then be shared with other villages in the area.”
Click here to contribute to Covenant World Relief’s disaster relief efforts.