MIRI: A social activist group has urged the authorities to send food supplies to flood victims in remote areas of Sarawak now, instead of waiting for the situation to get worse.
Society for Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak (Scrips) secretary-general Michael Jok said the majority of flood victims needing food aid are from rural districts.
“Don’t stock up the food supplies in Kuching. Send them out to the rural frontiers immediately without delay.
“There are already signs of increasing rain almost every night, including in rural districts,” he told The Star on Wednesday (Oct 30).
The state welfare authorities are getting flood relief supplies ready that can cater for 30,000 flood victims at any one time.
Information obtained from the state Disaster Relief Management secretariat showed that a big flood relief depot for storage and supplies had been activated.
The RM6mil depot is located in a sprawling complex in Samarahan district, about 30km from Kuching city.
The depot is equipped with storage rooms and an administration office that can operate round-the-clock.
The storage rooms can accommodate up to 432,000kg of food such as rice, biscuit, noodles, canned food, drinking water and other foodstuff.
The depot is also stocking up on personal necessities such as towels, toiletries, mattresses, blankets and pillows for those who are forced to leave their homes in an evacuation to take shelter at flood relief centres.
In Miri and Bintulu divisions, thunderstorms and heavy rain have been taking place every night for the past few days.
In the wee hours, some village roads in low-lying places and foothills would be flooded.
So far, there has been no flood evacuation in Sarawak.
Jok said rural roads would become impassable during heavy rain, as they would turn into streams of mud.
“That is why the flood-relief stocks in the Kuching depot must be distributed now since the rural roads are still passable.
“Once these rural roads get inundated by floods, it may take weeks to clear,” he added.
There are more than 5,000 rural settlements in Sarawak with a population of about a million rural residents.
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