Driving through the north of Thailand as I move from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang to Mae Sot the effects of the very heavy rains are obvious.

Flooded towns, flooded schools, houses that are collapsed – just piles of wood now, trees down, roads partially collapsed. I did not see it myself but I know that tragically there was a town where a landslide burried houses and killed people.

The communities affected by this disaster are out trying to fix things themselves. I think in some areas there are army personell out trying to help – but I did not see that. There is no SES. Mostly it is just communities trying to fix things themselves. These are rural communities, poor communities.

Unfortunatly these communities are not alone.

The refugee camps, which are already some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people residing in Thailand have not escaped the rains and floods without effect.

In one camp alone more then 300 houses have been lost.

A nursery school for children is damaged.

The rice storage facility was flooded and the rice rations for thousands of refugees for 8 months have been ruined. Before the floods the agency who provides the rations was already facing a funding crisis to feed the refugees and was potentially going to have to make cuts. There is no easy way to replace this essential, staple food provision for thousands of families.

This is a sizable tradgedy.

Hopefully the Thai government will assist the Thai communities affected by this flooding to rebuild their towns, roads, bridges etc. The people of Thailand will probably respond generously (as they have before) to there Thai countrymen and women with donations.

But for the refugees there is no public outpooring of goodwill. So what will happen? Well, that is very uncertain.

with the rain comes saddness.