Tuesday, August 11

Many roads in Niah district still flooded, villagers seek more govt aid

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MIRI: Flood water still inundated roads leading to 27 villages or localities with some 2,649 population in the Niah district, causing difficulties to obtain food rations and carry out daily chores.

CALL OF DUTY: Lai (right) and his officials travel in a boat to visit flood victims at Tanjung Belipat.

The Miri Divisional Operation’s Room said 521 affected families had requested for the second round of food supply and efforts have been made by Welfare Department to deliver to them the soonest.

The water level as at 4pm yesterday was still very high, between one to 12 feet at some stretches, making it impassable to small vehicles. However, flood water has begun to recede.

Among the worst affected villages were Rumah Jelian Ensiat, Ulu Niah where some stretches of the roads were under 12 feet of water while that at Rumah Mentali, Saeh Niah and Lot 175 Jalan Tepekong, water level rose to six feet.

Others roads are passable to traffic, enabling those villagers to carry out their daily chores and the Batu Niah Evacuation Centre has been closed yesterday.

However, there are still 87 others from 35 families taking temporary shelter at the evacuation centre at SMK Suai, Niah.

Meanwhile, the flood victims putting up at SMK Suai had on last Sunday appealed through Mercy Malaysia, Sarawak Chapter for other food rations such as milk, noodles, biscuits and mineral water, especially for children and elderly.

Jennie Soh, the Chapter’s acting head told The Borneo Post that villagers told her that ration given by Welfare Department was insufficient as it only consisted of rice, tin stuff like sardine, sugar and coffee.

Soh was at the evacuation centre leading her team to hand over the first batch of humanitarian aid to 375 flood victims in Niah.

Among the items sent included 400 hygiene pack (toothbrush, toothpaste and dettol  soap),  400  bath  towels, water purifier, 120 pails, T-shirts and some clothing as well as mineral water sponsored by Crest Uni-Ventures Sdn Bhd, which were handed over by their representative Diana Tony Ngau .

Soh urged more non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who wish to help in their small way to contribute the required food items through the Sarawak Chapter.

Please contact Elizabeth Wee at 012-8933262 at No. 54, Piasau Garden.

Meanwhile, Sibuti MP Ahmad Lai Bujang when contacted yesterday admitted that humanitarian assistance given by the Welfare Department was standardised and does not include milk and noodles.

However, he said those at SMK Suai were allowed to get additional rations such as milk and noodles from the school canteen.

“I have allocated funds for them, and have also spoken to officials at the Operation’s Room in Niah to allow the evacuees to have the extra ration from the canteen.”

“As far as other flood victims are concerned, I was told this morning that all had been given food rations and the situation is under control,” Lai disclosed.

Lai and state assemblywoman for Bekenu Rosey Yunus had also visited several flood affected villages including Tanjung Belipat, Tiris and Sepupuk over the last few days to help distribute the food items and getting feedbacks from the ground.