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Volunteers wheeling in rice bags and milk powder for flood evacuees. Pic by Amir Irsyad Omarr
Basic items donated by the public and NGOs.

GEORGE TOWN: HUMANTARIAN teams with food supplies from Penang are on their way to areas badly hit by floods in eight states, thanks to voluntary groups based in the state.

A check by the Streets team yesterday showed that packets of daily essentials were being collected from non-government organisations as well as good Samaritans.

It was a hive of activity at the Penang welfare department’s northeast district headquarters yesterday when boxes of rice bags, milk powder and drinking water as well as dried food arrived in batches.

The department has sent 18 personnel to act as humanitarian relief teams.

The members had departed for Kelantan and are expected to be on duty at various flood ravaged areas starting today.

Volunteer and welfare department staff Fariz Ismail, 31, told Streets that he was prepared to
face difficult times to rescue stranded people in the worsening flood crisis.

“I am ready to do my part to alleviate the suffering of evacuees. The floods have led to widespread damage to property and cars.

“My task is to help evacuees to safety in tough weather conditions. No doubt I am nervous but God willing I hope to get through the challenging situation,” he said.

Another volunteer, Mohd Aiman Shafiq Baharul Akmar, 23, said he had been mentally prepared for the daunting rescue operations ahead.

“I am determined to give my best to salvage everything that’s been left behind by evacuees.

“Our priority is to deliver the donations to the needy and assist volunteer groups in every possible way,” he said.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisation Foodbank4U also chipped in to supply rice bags and milk powder to displaced flood evacuees.

Its president Wendy Ang said she read about the worsening floods in Kelantan from the media and decided to help.

Ang had contributed 62 packets weighing 10kg each and 400 additional rice bags with the help of her friend, Ann Ng, who operates a packaging business.

“My thoughts are with the people affected by the floods and I hope these basic items will be able to reach them soon,” said Ang, who was with her daughter, Jeanette Khoo, 35, and five-year-old grandson Owen Lee.

Another group from a local supermarket chain contributed cartons of drinking water to the welfare department.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh has been given the task of transporting donated items to various states.