Victims of fire outbreak urge philanthropists to stop sending aid
Residents in the Dereiçi village in the northeastern province of Artvin, ravaged by a massive fire on March 13, have begged philanthropists to stop sending aids, saying that “the boxes have overflowed the village; send no more.”
“After the fire, we required help, but now, we are at a point of disbursement of aid,” locals told the Demirören News Agency on March 30.
A fire broke in a village with 400 inhabitants on early March 13, damaging more than 50 houses out of the 176, burning nearly a hundred haylofts and barns and killing some 40 livestock.
After the fire was extinguished in 8 hours, aid poured down on the village.
The Environment and Urbanization Ministry, the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) sent around 3.5 million Turkish Liras ($419,000) to “bind up wounds” as a first step.
Delivering 15,000 liras ($1795) to each owner of the houses burnt, the officials announced that “new houses will be built instead of the burnt ones.”
Apart from the formal help, various aid campaigns were organized immediately on social media for villagers.
In a short time, trucks of aid boxes entered the village, and the villagers started delivering them to those in need.
However, in a fortnight, things got a little out of control, and the villagers started to pile up the aid boxes at the center of the village as people didn’t need them anymore.
“Thanks to all those who wanted to help us. But we do not want any more aids,” said Sabri Duman, the local head of the village asking the “philanthropists to stop.”
“There is no more space in houses where we have delivered the boxes to,” he added.
Noting that they do not want to be misunderstood, he emphasized, “We will not be able to deliver the aid properly. We can send the goods to those in need anywhere in the country.”
Hatice Pınarcı, a local, warned the aid organizers that “the aid boxes will go to waste.”
Agreeing with his wife, Hatice, Abdurrahman Pınarcı said, “We do not want to stop the people who want to help but send them to some other people in need across the country.”