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Injuries And Mass Homelessness After Fire In Dar Paing

RB News 
March 8, 2014

Dar Paing, Arakan -- An estimated 500 Rohingya villagers are left homeless after an accidental fire claimed approximately 40 households in Dar Paing village, within the Sittwe Township of Arakan State.

Reportedly, the fire broke out at 11:45am on March 8, 2014. Houses were burnt to ash before it was extinguished at approximately 2:30pm. According to one village elder it was suspected that the blaze was started due to an accident while one woman was cooking with oil. There were other talks of a spark caused by a malfunctioning solar panel. 

There are reports that an 8 month old baby girl is missing and is presumed dead. Her mother has severe leg burns. At this time there are 10 other reported injuries due to burns and smoke inhalation.

There is access to a small variety of medical supplies locally however there are no medical staff or professionals. This due to the only real lifeline for educated medical care having been MSF-Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Boarders, the medical humanitarian group who have recently expelled from Arakan state by the Myanmar Government. There is little knowledge about medical procedures by locals so there is a serious concern for infection as the Rohingya villagers are left to their own to try to treat their friends and family. There are some that beloved that Red Cross will come to assist the situation. That is yet to be confirmed. 

To those in Arakan state who find themselves in the situation of being forced to treat wounds without experience, the #1 way to prevent wound infection is as follows: The wounds and the surrounding skin needs to be cleaned with plain soap and water. Cream should be applied to the wound and a use a clean cloth or bandage to cover it.

The Rohingya people in Dar Paing village despite having lost their livelihoods have not been considered displaced because they still had their homes. That means that they are not eligible to get aid from WFP - World Food Programme. 

Along with losing their homes and their personal possessions, the now homeless Rohingya villagers have lost all of their food and cooking materials. They will have to rely on their community and friends and family for support just to stay alive amidst concerns of being pushed into IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps around Sittwe.

Although the fire is accepted to be an accident, locals told RB News that the Police seemed to enjoy the fire. They were laughing as they delayed help from coming to extinguish the blaze.

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