Flood victims making do with whatever they have

Flood victims making do with whatever they have
Mohd Hafiz Saari washing plates at his family’s makeshift living quarters in Kuala Krai.

KUALA KRAI - It was a terrible sight. And their stories - they had to live hand to mouth, scavenge, eat poultry carcasses stuck in trees and seek shelter in any place they could - were enough to break one's hearts.

At Jalan Geale here, hundreds of people were camping in makeshift tents near houses that had collapsed or had been swept away.

Despite their bleak situation, there was an air of fortitude.

One resident, Faridah Yusoff, 50, remained optimistic, saying she was thankful the house did not collapse when the family was inside.

"In addition, we don't have to worry about food at the moment as we get plenty from the relief squads.

"We hope the Government will provide us with a place to stay as we rebuild our houses," she said.

Food, according to another housewife Zamurni Dollah, 25, had been scarce during the first few days after her family returned from a relief centre.

"We had to scavenge whatever vegetables we could find in the market," she said.

She said they had to resort to collecting and eating poultry carcasses hanging from trees.

"There was nothing to eat at all. I have two small children and they ate whatever was available," said Zamurni, whose house was also destroyed by floods.

Some families were converting their vehicles into shelters.

Any passerby turning into Jalan Geale will not miss a trailer parked by the roadside with a makeshift roof.

Assistant medical officer Wan Hazimah Wan Hamad, 54, showed how they slept, changed clothes and even cooked on top of the trailer.

Wan Hazimah recounted how she ended up living there.

"I was on duty at the hospital when it flooded, and I was stuck there for four days," she said.

She returned home to Taman Berkat Jaya on the fifth day only to find her husband and two children starving.

"Most of our foodstuff was under water. For four days, my husband mixed flour and salt for the family to eat," said Wan Hazimah.

She then brought the family to a nearby relief centre only to find it extremely cramped. According to her, there was not enough food for the 2,000 victims seeking refuge there.

"I couldn't bear it anymore. That's why I had to bring them here to stay with my relatives," she said.

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