As reports come in on flooding now entering central Bangkok, children are falling ill from diseases such as severe diarrhoea, with thousands more at risk as exposure from filthy floodwaters is on the rise.
Our assessment teams have found that running water has been completely cut off from some areas. Even in some evacuation centres where some families have fled to there is no access to clean water.
“Families with young children staying at makeshift evacuation centres are facing serious health concerns with little access to clean water,” said Stephen McDonald, Save the Children’s emergency director in Bangkok.
“One family of fourteen we spoke to said that all but one of them has had serious diarrhoea for several days in a row. Nai, 19 months old, has such severe diarrhoea that he can no longer walk.
“I have two young children of my own, and I would be heartbroken if they were subject to these conditions,” added McDonald.
While floodwaters in some parts of the city are clearly unclean – with teams having seen rubbish and even excrement floating in floodwaters – children continue to wade through and play in the flooded streets and alleys.
Snakes and crocodiles
Making matters worse, there has been an increase in reports of snakes and crocodiles lurking in filthy floodwater.
Thailand is facing its worst flood crisis in half a century, with standing water covering much of the north of the country, and an estimated 800,000 children directly affected even before Central Bangkok started to be flooded.
We’ve been conducting assessments and operations in Bangkok and in other parts of Thailand since mid-October and are reporting that health risks are of major concern as access to clean water for these families has been extremely limited.
We’re providing supplies for the hardest to reach families in Thailand, and our teams are working flat out to support families in evacuations centres, whilst also providing essential hygiene items to help prevent the spread of disease.
“Funding is proving to be difficult, and the needs are vast. Unless we get support soon, then children and families in Thailand will likely suffer for months to come,” said McDonald.
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