Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Flood-weary villagers hope for change in Melaka election

They urge whoever wins the state election to pay more attention to their plight.

Other News

For over a decade, the villagers of Kampung Sungai Putat in Melaka have been struggling with the problem of floods.

Many have become tired of dealing with the constant need to move out from their homes whenever it rains too heavily.

Kamsiah Joned, 67, said the area often floods due to the high currents and heavy rainfall which cause the water from the river to overflow into the village.

Over the years, the flooding has become more frequent and the water levels keep rising.

“It used to be that the water would rise to knee-level or a little above that. Now, it’s much worse.

“Those of us who live here are very worried,” she said to MalaysiaNow.

The residents of Kampung Sungai Putat blame the frequent floods on the water from the nearby river which rises over the banks whenever it rains heavily.

Another villager, Fatimah Kassim, 65, said the floods had cost her thousands of ringgit in losses as she must constantly replace her furniture and electrical appliances.

“This is not a new thing,” she said. “Every monsoon season and towards the end of the year, I have to prepare to move to a temporary evacuation centre where I spend the next few days.

“Then I go home and clean my house.”

Even this is a tricky business as the receding waters often leave behind unwanted guests such as centipedes and leeches.

Checks by MalaysiaNow in the area near Sungai Putat found that the floods caused by the rising water in the river also affect several residential spots such as Taman Bukit Beruang Utama.

Ibrahim Sarif and his wife, Tuan Anisa Tuan Teh, keep their fridge above ground level on two chairs in an effort to protect it from the frequent floods in the area.

Ibrahim Sarif and his wife, Tuan Anisa Tuan Teh, who live in the area, are both in their 70s. They said this year’s flooding was especially severe, and that residents have been questioning the source of the problem.

This year alone, they have had to deal with flooding three times along with the damage incurred to their possessions.

“The water that comes flooding into the area can reach waist-level,” they said. “It’s also slimy and smells bad.”

They are fortunate that their children come and help them clean their house each time the flood waters subside. Still, it takes them nearly a week to get everything sorted out.

They told MalaysiaNow that many who rented homes in the area had moved out as they were unable to put up with the problem anymore.

For the elderly couple, though, the area has been their home for more than 20 years. To cut their losses whenever it floods, they buy only cheap furniture which is easily replaced the next time around.

A motorcyclist makes his way down a road in Kampung Sungai Putat, whose location on a slight incline makes it more susceptible to floods.

When asked if the authorities were aware of the problem, Kamsiah, Fatimah and Anisa said they had received visits from several parties including representatives who brought them food and conducted surveys of the area.

But they are still frustrated as the problem appears to have no end.

They urged those who are elected to lead the state to take a more aggressive approach to resolving the issue and ending the suffering of the people there.

“Sometimes we receive visits from politicians, but we only get some contributions and food,” Kamsiah said.

“We are grateful for what they give, but we hope that this problem can be speedily resolved.”

Anisa meanwhile said she no longer knew whom to turn to.

“I hope those in charge will pay more attention to our plight,” she said.

All three major political coalitions contesting the Melaka state election this weekend – Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional – have pledged to address the issue of flooding if they win the polls.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles