Malaysian family finds little comfort under 'tent home'

Malaysian family finds little comfort under 'tent home'
Temporary home: Siti pointing to her tent, donated by an NGO, which she claims is too hot to shelter in during the day.

KUALA KRAI, Malaysia - It is hot by day and cold by night. The tents that flood victims live in may not be comfortable, but it will have to do for now.

A visit by The Star together with the Umno Complaints Department Bureau to distribute aid found many flood victims living in tents erected on the roadsides and in front of the ruins of their former homes.

Mother-of-four Siti Hadijah Yusof, 55, who was given two tents for her family, said it was not comfortable to live inside the tents but she was still grateful for a place to stay.

"We are thankful for the tents but it is not easy to live in them. We cannot stay inside for long during the day because of the heat it traps and it is also too cold during the night," she said.

Siti, whose house was washed away by the floods, hoped to get help to rebuild her house because her finances did not allow it now.

"My house was swept away by the strong currents and only some pillars are left standing," she said.

To make matters worse, she said there was still no water or electricity in the area and they could not rely on just bottled water which they received through donations.

"Water is essential not only for drinking but also for cooking and cleaning.

"My family has not taken a bath for days because we need to conserve the limited amount of water we have and I really hope the state government can resume the water supply soon," she added.

When asked if she would move to a new place, Siti said she had lived there since she was small and was not planning to leave the village.

"I'm used to the floods and always prepare for it every year but I did not expect it to be this bad this time round. I hope that it will not recur," she said, forcing a bitter smile.

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