More needs to be done to help Hulu Langat folk rebuild lives after massive floods

The curtains may have come down on Hulu Langat’s largest flood aid transit centre in Terra Pong Restaurant in Batu 18, Hulu Langat, last week.

But those who volunteered at the centre say much more needs to be done to ensure that people are able to get back on their feet again.

One volunteer, Muhamad Jufairuz Muhamad Junaidi, said many of those hit by the floods still have a long way to go to rebuild their lives.

“We did what we could, including helping them clean up their homes, sending gas cylinders, mattresses, clothes and food, but there’s still a lot more to be done.

“Houses need to be repaired, for those who still have homes. Those who have been left homeless need funds to rebuild their houses,” said Jufairuz, who is also chairman of the non-governmental group Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Kuala Lumpur & Selangor.

Jufairuz, 39, who also lives in Hulu Langat, stumbled upon the relief centre in Terra Pong on Dec 19 when he went on his rounds with wife Nik Nazzua Hanna Nik Mat, 38, to see what they could do to help.

“We learnt that while aid was being sent to the centre, it was unable to reach the victims as access had been cut off because several roads had caved in during the disaster.

“Those at Terra Pong said they had the relief supplies, but villagers were not coming out to get them, nor could the volunteers deliver the items with their cars and trucks.

“After some discussion, we decided that we needed motorcyclists to deliver these items, especially in Batu 18, Sungai Lui, Kampung Jawa, and Genting Peres,” he said.

Jufairuz immediately spread the message to his friends, including food delivery riders and those in his ‘Scooter Ride’ group.

“Riders started coming from near and far, and soon, we had 70 stationed at the centre for more than two weeks.”

“Some of them worked as food delivery riders in the morning and would come to Terra Pong in the afternoon. Other food delivery riders put their work on hold to help those in need in Hulu Langat,” he said.

Some 30 members from Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Kuala Lumpur & Selangor also helped out at Terra Pong. They oversaw the unloading of goods like mattresses, clothing, diapers, and gas cylinders from lorries. The members also delivered the items to those affected and cleaned up homes.

Jufairuz says the entire episode shows that volunteerism is very much alive in Malaysia.

“Strangers came from other states to help flood victims. A truck from Perak was one of the earliest to arrive with cleaning equipment. We also had a cook from Perak stationed at Terra Pong, cooking for villagers.

While Terra Pong stopped being the flood aid transit centre on Jan 5, some of the volunteers, including Jufairuz, have moved on to continue their good work in Temerloh, and Cemor, in Pahang.

In Pahang, Jufairuz made arrangements and coordinated with riders to help with the delivery of items. They are also working with other groups, including volunteers from Kelantan.

“But there is still much to be done for the people in Hulu Langat. I hope more Malaysians will offer a helping hand in the coming days.

“The villagers are mentally affected. They are feeling down, and we must stand with them during these trying times,” he added.

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