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Karuna still helping quake victims

Church agency expands operations as more villages call for help reporter, Yangon

May 18, 2011

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Quake relief efforts in Shan state have grown with more villages appealing for help with water supplies and food storage problems, say Karuna Kengtung Social Service (KKSS) officials in Thiri parish. Many villages in the eastern state are still struggling to recover from a strong earthquake that struck on March 24. "Our original objective of aiding 13 villages changed after villagers from more remote villages came to us for help," said KKSS director, Father Stephen Ano. "We were forced to extend our reach to a further five villages," he said. Fortunately, they already managed to help five communities overcome their problems, he added. Transportation is the cause of delays in providing assistance as it takes a whole day just to reach one village. “We will continue helping villages struggling to get water,” said local Karuna branch chief, Aung Kyaw. Workers are heading to affected villages to find out what the villagers are facing and to give food for those really in need. “We are going to build granaries so that we can help villagers facing food storage problems,” said Aung Kyaw. Meanwhile, Karuna is distributing government supplies for the rebuilding and repair of collapsed Catholic and Baptist churches. "We have received 400 zinc sheets and 400 bags of cement for the reconstruction of two large Catholic churches and two large Baptist ones in the quake affected area," said Aung Kyaw. "We are also getting supplies for three smaller Catholic churches and two Baptist ones," he added.

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