News: Floods leave villager in dire straits

The Star, 23 Dec 2012

AYER HITAM: Father-of-five Ghozali Mat Rejab is at his wits’ end after the floods that hit his home in Kampung Cahaya Baru here on Tuesday left him in major financial difficulty.

The 47-year-old said the situation was made worse when his 15-month-old daughter, who was discharged from hospital a few days ago following an operation to remove water from her brain, could not return home.

“The conditions in my house made it unsafe for my young children to return even though the flood water had receded.

“I feel helpless as my chidren keep asking me about back-to-school preparations and I do not have the heart to tell them their school shoes have been washed away,” he said when met at the SK Kota Dalam flood relief centre here near Batu Pahat yesterday.

Ghozali, who grows vegetables, also said his house was badly damaged in the floods as cracks appeared in his living room.

“We have experienced minor floods over the past three years but this is the worst,” he added.

Ghozali’s family was among those who received some basic necessities from Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong.

Dr Wee said 34 flood victims from six families were currently housed in two relief centres SK Kota Dalam and SK Seri Bandan.

“In view of the flood season, all village heads have been briefed on the designated relief centres,” he said, adding that the centres have been open since Dec 18.

“The number of flood victims is still relatively low but we are well equipped with manpower and supplies to aid those affected,” he said.