SEBERANG PERAI: The aftermath of the worst major floods that recently hit Penang island and the entrance to Bukit Mertajam was very serious.
Many affected residential areas have been covered with thick mud and slime, while the authorities are actively undertaking the cleaning process and struggling with shortage of workers.
Malaysian World News reporter had joined the Malaysia Elite Disaster Rescue Foundation (MEDRF) Unsung Heroes Convoy Program to channel the relief of post-flood victims near Seberang Perai.
Using five four-wheel drive vehicles and two buses, the program started from November 7 to 11, aiming to deliver the goods directly to the hands of the victims.
The convoy started from Kuala Lumpur and travelled nearly 700 km, delivering humanitarian aid, basic food and home appliances.
MEDRF President, Datuk William Lee said, all the relief items, 50 boxes of mineral water and 100 boxes of instant noodles sponsored by Jaya Grocer, were handed over to those in need.
“We are ready to increase the amount depending on our capability, ” he said.
“And another 50 mattress will arrive in Penang and distributed to the flood victim,” he added.
Present at the convoy were Dato Sri Warren Eu and his wife Datin Sri Rain Tan, Dato Ian Wong and other six men power.
Upon arrival at Juru, the convoy greeted by MEDRF representatives who also brought home cleaning utensils, basic meals such as rice, bread and biscuits for donations.
The unsung heroes’ convoy then moved to Kampung Taman Haji Ahmad Jamil, Taman Bakawali, Pokok Machang, Taman Sentul Jaya and Sungai Dua.
The situation in the area is similar to other villages that are flooded. Most of the main roads have yet to be fully recovered – making one feels like going into a garbage dump area – as the average residents ` home appliances such as cupboards, mattresses, tables, and television were damaged.
According to Asrol Ahmad, 54, his housing areas located at Kampung Taman Haji Ahmad Jamil were aired on November 5th.
“After dawn prayer, around 7.00 am, the water was at the waist.
“This is the third time flood happened here; the first one was in 1990 and the second in 2003,” he said.
Muhammad Najib Ahmad Shukri, 36, said about a month before the floods, he had just finished undergoing a home renovation process.
“I have just finished renovating the house by installing a new wall paper and now it is damaged due to floods.
“Nearly 90 percent of my home goods were damaged and we did not even have the time to do anything,” he said.
Leu Mi Chan, 51, said she was at home when the flood hit her home.
“Water rises so fast and keeps rising from the ankle to the waist in less than an hour,” she said.
Ganesan Muniandy, 54, from Pokok Machang said he and his neighbors used the ‘gotong-royong’ method to clean their housing area.
“If we want to clean our family home alone, it’s tiring because from the 22 houses here, almost all of them are flooded and we take three days to clear them,” he said.
Khairul Anuar Mohamad Ramli, 45, said 24 families (114 people) chose to seek shelter at Tuan Haji Mohd Desa Mosque.
“The worst flood-affected areas are in Kampung Sungai Semilang. They are trapped and unable to get out because the water closed the main road.
“In addition, Taman Sentul, Kampung Jawa and Kampung Siam are also flooded,” he said.
After completing the aid to the people at the mosque, the convoy moved to the Juru Village Multipurpose Hall.
Based on local residents’ recommendations, the convoy visited the nearest Surau located within the area.
The Surau Chairman, Zulkifli Shaari, 74, said, he welcomed the locals to take shelter at the Surau even though they were not Muslims.
“When the situation is desperate, we should help each other,” he said.
On 10 November, with the help of the JKM, MEDRF managed nearly 200 volunteers to help the flood victims.
This volunteer group consisted of MEDRF members from Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Their presence was welcomed by the locals and they provided assistance like cleaning the houses and surrounding areas.
They also donated nearly 300 mattresses to the flood victims.
– Malaysia World News