Ukhrul, Feb 8: The Naga Students Organization, Myanmar (NSO) president Naogang Ngansa has told Ukhrul Times that the victims of a massive fire incident that gutted 60 houses to ashes at Solo/Chiu Village, under Lahe township, Naga Self Administered Zone in Myanmar on February 2 has not received any assistance from the state government.
Speaking in the aftermath of the massive fire, Naogang Ngansa told that self donation from government employees from Lahe has been witnessed so far. However, the Myanmar government has not directly intervened yet. “I don’t think the government will help given the country’s current crisis. Out of (about) 200 houses in the village, 60 houses have been razed to ashes,” he added.
When asked if Mayanmar government will provide humanitarian aid to the affected villagers, Naogang Ngansa was quick to respond – “The government never helps any village. This is not the first fire incident in a village. This is the reality. In similar fire incident last year during May in Ranchi village under Nanyun township, 21 houses were burnt which affected 29 families with a population of 221. The government turned a complete blind eye despite the fact that the village is located on the national highway from Lahe – Nanyun. The village is still struggling to build their homes. Some victims of last year’s fire incident are still homeless taking shelter in relatives houses and in granary,” Naogang Ngansa responded in dismay.
No casualty was reported in the fire, which broke out around 5 PM Myanmar time and 4 PM IST and continued until midnight, according to NSO.
Naogang Ngansa continued and said, “What the fire victims needs now is cash to rebuild their houses. With money, they can get anything from Noklak, a town two and half hours off-road by bike and jeep. Collections of urgent essential commodities like rice and other goods cost more for the transportation to reach the village. So cash is an advisable option.”
According to NSO press release dated February 5, a meeting with the affected village leaders at Solo/Chiu village was held on February 5. The fire broke out from a solar plate that was placed on top of the thatch roof house causing the massive fire which gutted 60 houses, one morung, one car and eight motorcycles to ashes. Roofs of 13 houses were destroyed to stop the spread of fire.
As per NSO, the massive fire has rendered many households homeless, including new born babies, children, women, men and old aged. Victims include 73 families which consist of 390 people, of which 156 are under the age of 18, and 234 affected victims are above the age of 18.
Furthermore, the NSO, while it expressed deep sadness over the fire incident, requested “every individuals and groups from both east and west of Naga Land without borders to pray and share the pain together with our brethren of Solo Villagers in this desperate time. This is very unfortunate when everyone is getting busy preparing their dry fields to be sowed by March and April all over the Naga hills.”
“We request any concerned organization and groups to mobilize funds for the fire victims and can contact NSO through WhatsApp + 91 87318 07119. Any organization can come with their account and mobilization in contact with us. They can come till Noklak and till Solo village,” NSO president Naogang Ngansa appealed.
Meanwhile, the Global Naga Forum (GNF) has appealed for donations of rice, clothes and utensils needed for the fire victims. GNF also appealed for cash donations for rebuilding houses of the affected families which will be sent to the village.
According to GNF press release, donors may send donations to the GNF account.
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CHUBA OZUKUM/ MIRIAM RENGMA