Thailand: Relief Work Made Dysfunctional By. . .

Thailand: Relief Work Made Dysfunctional By. . . Blog, Regions, Southeast Asia, Thailand
November 8, 2011

Flood Report

*** This is the third in a series of reports by Zashnain (@bedlamfury) detailing first-hand accounts of relief efforts in response to the tragic floods in Thailand that have affected millions so far.

Read previous installments:
Tip, A Streetkid Living In A Flooded Bangkok
Flood Report: Unprecedented Damage to Thailand and Its People


Day Six. I’m truly exhausted. The endless discussions, debates, heated arguments and the last-minute coordination driving me to the brink of frustration.

People are working against each other, the finger-pointing game, yes it’s a game to many of the critics screaming from the comforts of their dry homes and offices. Doesn’t seem to end. Don’t think it will, ever.

Politics. This single factor, raging uncontrollably, causes delay in supply deliveries, medicine left unreplenished, volunteers working in isolation, confusion among authorities and those in urgent need of help are unassisted. Seems the disorder among Thai and farang (foreigner) critics stimulate the mayhem of the flood.

I have faced the chaos of bureaucracy in the past. I have seen the carnage caused by the wannabes and the maybes in the political scene create inefficiencies that prevents a plan of action from being executed.

Campaigns of misinformation, the bane of relief workers, create an unconducive environment, at times causes more fatalities and misery.

It is not just the politicians, but the circle of corporations that aims for profitability and publicity from the suffering of others. Capitalism or greed eats through humanity like a hungry snake swallowing it’s own tail to find nourishment.

Too many times, a veteran of relief work would express her frustration at the redundancy or the newly recruited aid worker resigning from the oblivious task of dealing with red tape. Surely sanity exists? No. Despite the best practices, most governments, relief agencies, NGOs, and corporations are interested only in this prestige act of charity, where the glory of being seen to do work or to look smart is more important than the actual act of helping those in need.

Our deficiency, our weakness. Mankind is unable, or refuses to push aside political affiliation in the wake of a natural disaster.

Those who are in a disadvantaged and marginalised position are treated as mere liability, expendable. Money, pride and social standing is more important than life. Sabotage is guided by the strong, for self-preservation. Humanity sinks deeper in their own cesspool of apathy.

Six days of oblivion, and agony.

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One Comment

  1. geomark says:

    Just don’t forget that the reason there are so many factories producing drinking water, boats, boots, noodles, medicines and everything else is because private individuals risked their capital when they invested to put in place the means of production of all those things you need in your relief efforts. That is *the definition* of capitalism. Railing against capitalism is terribly off target.

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