Gov rebuffs offer of 10,000 tsunami homes

PHUKET CITY: Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura has rejected an offer from a mysterious businessman from Dubai to build 10,000 homes for tsunami victims.

The Governor explained that Phuket already has enough donated homes to house all tsunami victims in the province.

The businessman, who gave his name simply as “John”, visited Phuket Provincial Hall on August 25 to request that land be donated upon which to build the Australian-made structures. The prefabricated homes would be shipped as knocked-down kits to Thailand, and then assembled on site.

Today, however, Pannee Sittikan, head of the Phuket Office of Social Development and Human Security, told the Gazette that 127 tsunami houses have already been built in Phuket. “There are no more names on the list of people needing housing from us, so we have closed the list,” she said.

Gov Udomsak told the Gazette that he had suggested that the mystery donor present documents to back up his offer, rather than just talking about it. Pointing out that he had no idea how genuine the offer was, he added, “He came to talk with me. I didn’t need to listen or agree to anything.”

In any case, he said, “We do not need 10,000 houses; we have already built enough houses for all those who need them. [The Dubai businessman] should check what we need. [His] suggestion is an ‘idea in the air’.”

Neighboring Phang Nga Province has already announced that it, too, has more than enough houses for people left homeless by the tsunami.

As long ago as mid-May, Phang Nga Governor Anuwat Metheeviboonwut said that thanks to the uncoordinated efforts of NGOs, the province might end up with 4,000 new homes – twice as many as were needed.

Phuket News

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