Worst floods in more than fifty years

By World Vision Malaysia Monsoon Floods Response Team

TUMPAT: Standing outside her grandfather’s house, Nor, 21, speaks of the fearful days when her family realised the floods this time weren’t going to be the annual downpour.

“My family has lived in this area for more than 50 years; five of these houses belong to my extended family. We have never seen floods like this before,” she said.

Last month saw some of the worst floods in Malaysian history, with the northern and eastern states being the most affected.

A total of 21 people were reported to have died, and more than 225,000 people had to flee their homes and seek shelter in evacuation centres.

In Nor’s village of Kampung Kelong, the water levels reached more than six feet high, and her family had to seek shelter in a nearby primary school for a week.

Her father and uncle, however, braved the floods and stayed in the house as there had been stories of looting and theft as families fled their homes and left belongings behind.

With the lack of clean water, many families including hers have been drawing water from the river that runs through their village. However, the water is muddy and unclean.

“My aunt actually caught a water-borne virus from the dirty water, which gave her fever and throat problems,” she said.

They are also using the river water to try and wash away the mud from inside their homes, but to no avail as the water itself contains mud.

Another big concern for her is her young cousins who will be starting school next week.

“We lost everything in the flood, including school uniforms and their books. We will have to find a way to get them ready in time, that is what we want to do,” said Nor, a kindergarten teacher.

Nor’s family is one of the registered beneficiaries due to receive various relief kits through World Vision Malaysia and its local partner Crest. These include food kits, hygiene kits and back-to-school kits.

As a child-focused humanitarian organisation, World Vision is committed to ensuring that in all its relief work, children are cared for and protected.

World Vision Malaysia child protection officer Jasmine Lee, who is also part of the response team, said every effort is made to ensure children are supported in their education.

“As different ones, we ought to come together and provide as much support as possible to get a child back to school. Education is a child’s right and our responsibility as individuals and communities,” she said.

Jasmine said sponsors have generously provided stationeries, notebooks and learning resources that help a child get back to normalcy.

“It is part of the rehabilitation process, after a disaster such as this it is important that we help children return to their normal way of life,” she said.

The needs are still very great. Would you consider donating? Please do donate here : https://www.worldvision.com.my/donations/emergency-relief-fund