KUALA KRAI - The worst is over for odd job worker Wan Nordin Wan Ismail and his family as they look forward to a new "flood-resistant" home on stilts after their house was destroyed during the recent floods.
"Thankfully, we can put the days of living in tents behind us soon.
"I am so grateful that we will have a place to call home again," said the 51-year-old who lives with his wife and four of their eight children.
Equally happy was single mother of five, Rohani Abdul Kadir.
"It makes me really happy to visit the site every day and watch my house being built. I can't wait," said the 71-year-old who is currently putting up at her neighbour's place.
Former teacher Mohamad Noh Hasan, 65, said although it was comfortable for his family of five to be staying with a relative, "there's nothing like your own home".
Wan Nordin, Rohani and Mohamad Noh were among the first five out of 138 victims of Manek Urai Lama here who would have new homes within 75 days.
The project, being implemented in stages, is expected to be completed in a year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the construction of the permanent houses for flood victims during his visit to Manek Urai here yesterday.
There are two designs for the houses depending on the ground conditions - a 61m² (660ft²) detached house on 2.4m-high concrete stilts (costing RM48,000 (S$17,900) each) or a 74m² (800ft²) detached unit on the ground (RM40,000 each).
"One assurance is that the houses (on stilts) will not be affected by floods in the future," Najib told reporters later.
More than 2,000 flood victims from the Kuala Krai district attended the event. Also present were Kelantan Flood Disaster Special Committee chairman and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof.
Najib said the repair of flood-damaged houses would be carried out at up to RM10,000 each.
Fadillah estimated that about 3,000 units of houses would be built in the affected state.