If you are in Bahrain and able to support the affected individuals, please contact the Migrant Worker Protection Society* at 1782 7895 or their Head of Labour Safety and Welfare Mr. Katib Zuhair at 3685 5599 by phone or Whatsapp.
A building collapse in Salmaniya killed 4 people and injured over 30 on Tuesday night.
Police suspect that a gas explosion caused the collapse. The landlord has been detained pending an investigation, and the neighbouring tenants have also been evacuated.
The residents of the private building were low-income migrant workers. Over 100 people lived in just 16 rooms, with 8 to 9 people per room. Nearly 200 Bangladeshi and Indian migrants have been displaced. They are now living in various shelters, with the support of migrant community organisations, their embassy, the Migrant Worker Protection Society, and the Bahraini government.
Gas explosions, fires, and collapses are common hazards in the derelict buildings that primarily house migrant workers.
These private accommodations are generally less safe than labour camps as they are not subject to inspection. Officials estimate that there are more “illegal labour accommodations” than registered camps.
More than 10 similar incidents have occurred in Bahrain over the last two year.
Though some have spoken about the need to hold neglectful landlords accountable, the same officials are also using the tragedy as justification for banning “bachelors” (the term used for male migrants who migrate without their families, regardless of their actual marital status) from residential areas.
*The Migrant Workers Protection Society, Bahrain is a locally registered NGO that relies on a voluntary team and local donations within Bahrain to continue their operations. The MWPS is providing assistance and follow-up to the 150 Bangladesh and 45 Indian nationals who were affected by the building collapse in Manama. They are following the situation closely and responding to needs day by day. This evening they will distribute mattresses, bedding and metal bed frames and plastic wardrobes to 8 relocated workers with the help of a few donors. In the coming days, they plan to distribute the same to 31 relocated workers. If you are in Bahrain and would like to contribute funds by cash or cheque toward the MWPS or please contact their offices at 1782 7895 (Sunday-Thursday 8am-1pm) or their Head of Labour Safety and Welfare Mr. Katib Zuhair at 3685 5599 by phone or Whatsapp.