The Kelantan floods

Filling the gaps in the flood relief efforts by state and federal authorities have been hundreds of thousands of contributors and volunteers, big and small. Be it chartering helicopters or marshalling convoys of lorries and trucks filled with food and supplies, they've swooped in to provide essentials to remote floodravaged villages, particularly in the east coast states.

Freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker Jules Ong was one of many to organise contributions of such aid to be delivered to blind spots in the coverage of flood relief efforts. On January 6, our three-truck convoy was aimed at relatives of Ong's friends in Kelantan, who had specifically requested certain essential goods that were sorely in need: food, clean drinking water, cooking stoves, gas tanks, mats and blankets.

By then the roads to the two locations were accessible as much of the floodwaters had receded. But the floods had decimated much of the infrastructure and support systems. There was no clean water and food supply was overly dependent on direct delivery of aid, which was haphazard and uncoordinated. Most banks, markets and shops remained closed, even in the larger town of Kuala Krai. Meanwhile the supermarkets in the nearby town of Machang, relatively unmolested by the floods, saw goods priced as high as double the retail equivalent in KL.

Danny Lim is a freelance journalist and photographer, as well as an occasional fixer for international media.



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