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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Community help sought for Qatar workers after labor camp fires


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Hundreds of Qatar residents are reeling after two fires over the past few days gutted their labor camps and destroyed their belongings.

The first fire affected a labor camp in Al Shahaniya on Friday, while a separate blaze at an accommodation in Al Saliya yesterday has also left workers in need.

About 500 people lived in the Al Shahaniya camp, including low-income workers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The fire took place on Friday afternoon at an UrbaCon Trading & Contracting Co. (UCC) accommodation.


Neither the Ministry of Interior (MOI) nor UCC have publicly commented on the blaze, or what caused it.

But Philippine embassy officials told the Qatar Tribune that no one was killed in the fire.

How to help

However, many people have lost their passports and other personal belongings.

The newspaper quoted the embassy’s labor attache as saying:

“We spoke with the company’s management and learned that they have extended assistance to the victims by distributing QR200 per worker for their urgent requirements. We also urged them to transfer the affected workers to a better accommodation.”

Community members are now organizing in-kind donation drives to help the workers. They are seeking items such as men’s clothes, toiletries, blankets and food.

Those who wish to donate items are asked to drop them off at UCC housing in Al Shahaniya, at Gate 2.

Workers affected by fire in Al Shahaniya

Alternatively, the Pinoy Offroaders Qatar group is willing to transport donations to the men.

Another local group, Doha Kabayan, is collecting groceries, bedding and other items given “from the heart,” though cash is not being accepted.

Second fire

A separate fire in a different labor camp erupted yesterday. According to the MOI, the blaze was put out without any injuries.

However, a lot of property was left damaged and one resident told Doha News that workers there are also in need of food and clothes.

More details about that fire are still emerging, but donations can also be made by visiting the camp, Al Siliya Workers Village Gate 17.


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