Saturday, 09 December 2017 15:12

2017 PENANG FLOOD DEVELOPMENT (16 - 22 NOVEMBER) Featured

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Background

The cleaning and garbage disposal team Nov 6 to 9 noticed that nearly 90% of the furniture and electrical appliances were destroyed by the floods and strewn along Zoo Road, Air Itam. To restore the local residents to their activities of daily living, CREST will distribute Senheng cash vouchers.

Furniture vouchers distribution is another planned activity when a reliable distributor can be identified.

Objective

1. Household survey and logistics preparation for distribution of Senheng vouchers. Target community: Same community where CREST had done house cleaning the week before:

  1. Lorong Zoo 1, Malay village
  2. Lorong 2 to 5 and that side of Jalan Zoo, Chinese terrace houses.

Pre Distribution Preparations

16 Nov - Identify the houses for distribution and purchase of vouchers by CK

17 Nov - The list of families from community (a) and (b) were recorded with the help of headman. The community representatives in these areas were briefed on the process of distribution. Locals were requested to provide assistance during distribution.

18 Nov – Notice for distribution were issued during door to door visits at Lorong Zoo 2 - 5 and Jalan Zoo areas.

19 Nov – Volunteers from Wesley Methodist Church Penang assisted in the planning by recording all serial numbers of the vouchers according to the listed households.

20 Nov – Counters were set up at 19J, Lorong Zoo 3 from 5pm to 8pm. 82 out of 111 households collected their vouchers.

21 Nov – Distribution was done at 15 households but 13 households are vacant.

22 Nov – Distribution was started at Dewan Lorong Zoo 1. 56 local residents and 5 foreign workers collected the vouchers. We wish to acknowledge the help extended by Ketua Kampung Encik Mahathir in our distribution work.

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Distribution Counter @ Lorong Zoo 3

Dewan Distribution @ Lorong Zoo 1

Activity

1. The headman of Community (a) Encik Mahathir received us at the entrance of the village on 16 Nov. He recognized Edward who was supervising the house cleaning the week before. He related how he had to use the row boat belonging to the river cleaning contractor to evacuate the villagers. He showed us the watermark on the wall of houses by the river. The water had risen to chest level. There had been distribution of mattresses and clothes in the village. Life has return to normal although a lot of salvaged household items are still drying out under the sun. Cars had been stripped of the seats and upholstery to dry out but no repair was done as all workshops are full.

2. Community (a) is a typical Malay village where houses are built at random and do not have registered house number. Some houses have multiple un-related families staying under one roof. Therefore, the distribution system was done according to families. Encik Mahathir provided us with a list of these families. Bangladeshi and Indonesian migrant families in the list were also entitled to receive the vouchers. Encik Mahathir provided the village hall and local manpower to assist in the distribution work.

3. We met with a few representatives of Community (b) to explain the need for different distribution systems in order to avoid any misunderstanding among the residents. Community (b) does not have a formal residents committee or Rukun Tetangga. We spoke to some proactive and prominent members: Pastor Khor (Jelutong Chinese Methodist Church) and his wife, Mr Chew and Mrs Mok. They agreed to provide assistance during the distribution which will be done in front of Pastor Khor’s house.

4. Both communities have ageing population and is situated right next to the river. We were told that workers had dumped waste from construction work downstream and this had caused the river to overflow. Further assessment is required to determine other areas of need.

5. In total 172 households and families have received the cash vouchers with no dispute including 2 families who were inadvertently been omitted by the Ketua Kampung. Only one family has returned his vouchers back to CREST (to bless other family) while another one did not qualify due to the lack of proper documentation.

6. During the distribution at Lorong Zoo 3, local municipal office sent a team equipped with high pressure water jet to clear the muddy sediments which block the drain. A private contractor has been engaged to clean the river.

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Challenges

1. The benchmark for the success of this project is the utilisation of the vouchers. Therefore, our audit measurement will be based on:-

  1. 30% of the vouchers being used before 1 Jan 2018.
  2. 70% of the vouchers being used before 18 Feb 2018 (Chinese New Year).
  3. 90% of the vouchers being used before the date of expiry (19 Nov 2018).

2. Total value of the vouchers distributed at Zoo Road - RM 43,000.

Recommendations

1. Work in Zoo Road has been completed which will be followed up with the utilisation report from Senheng.

2. Pastor Paul has appealed for help on behalf of the Tamil community in Prai. A joint assessment with Pastor Samuel Periathamby has been planned from Nov 28-30.

In Him, we serve,
CK Cheong
Executive Director

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