Over half of flood victims say govt should help pay more than Bt5,000

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BANGKOK, Jan 8 – Nearly half of flood-hit victims have sought loan shark for restoration funds for their flood-ravaged homes, while more than half said the government’s financial aid should be higher than the current scheme at Bt5,000, according to a survey released by ABAC Poll on Sunday.

The poll for “Expenses on rehabilitation of flood-damaged houses and assets after floodwater recedes” was conducted on 1,738 respondents between Dec 15, 2011 – Jan 7, 2012 in nine provinces including Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Angthong, Nakhon Pathom, Supanburi, Lop Buri and Nakhon Sawan.

Some 86.5 percent of respondents were flood victims who said their daily cost of living has elevated, while 81.6 percent said their houses were damaged by floodwater and 61.7 percent said their assets, such as cars, electronic devices and furniture were damaged by flood.

More than two-thirds, or 68.4 percent, stated the average cost for house restoration was around Bt37,022, while the highest repair cost answered in the poll was at Bt500,000.

Furthermore, 40.6 percent said they spent approximately Bt20,745 to fix electronic devices and furniture, while another 20.6 percent said the average cost for restoration of house’s infrastructure was at Bt7,096.

Regarding their sources of funds for housing restoration, 84.2 percent said they used their own savings, while nearly half — or 40.8 per cent — admitted they sought help from professional loan sharks to cover expenses and 16.4 percent asked for a loan from banks.

When asked about the appropriateness of Bt5,000 of budget allocated by the government to flood victims, more than half — 59.5 percent – said they wanted a higher amount of financial aid from the state, while 40.5 percent stated they are satisfied with the current budget.

Thailand’s 65 provinces, including the capital, have been hit by the country’s worst flooding in decades which began last July. Flood-related death toll has risen to 813 as of Sunday. The situation has now eased and the country is continuing with the rehabilitation process.