Flood-hit farmer remains resilient

Vegetables on sale at Rose’s stall at Kota Padawan Market

KUCHING: The last few days have seen an improvement in the weather here, albeit a bit cloudy, but it is a stark contrast to the previous week here.

Last week, Sarawak was hit by floods due to the continuous heavy downpour which lasted for almost a week.

The floods were especially hard on farmers as their crops were submerged, making it difficult for them to sell their produce in markets as for many of them, it is their only source of income.

Rose Pungot

Farmer Rose Pungot, originally from Kampung Simpok, Padawan, suffered losses because of the floods. She said there are fewer vegetables to sell as all her produce were destroyed by the floods.

“The flood last week hit my crops badly. The water rose to about three inches and all my crops were destroyed.

“My crops were submerged for three days and they cannot grow back now. All I could sell were vegetables delivered by my brother and my sister,” said the 52-year-old farmer.

She added that she will replant vegetables on her field, but said that it would take about a month for the plants to grow be harvested.

“I also hope that the weather will be fine for the weeks to come. If the weather is good, then I will be able to plant vegetables again,” she added.

When met at her stall at Kota Padawan Market, there were some spinach, lemongrass, chillies, mustard greens, and other types of vegetables for sale. However, it was less than what she expected.

“There used to be a lot more vegetables with more choices for customers. Now, business is slow because there are not many vegetables due to the flood,” she said.

She added that her village, Kampung Simpok, was hit really badly by the flood because the village is situated near a river which water level rose during the heavy rains.

“Every week day, I come to the market to sell all the produce I harvested and many customers would come and buy from me. After what happened last week, it really caused me to lose income.

“All I have to do is to wait for the vegetables in the field to grow back, as long there are no heavy rain and flood. I’m also hoping for good weather.

“For now, I plant spinach because it is easy to grow, but the one brought here is still small. I have to sell it so that I can get money,” said Rose.

Despite being badly hit by the flood, it will not stop her from continuing to grow crops.

In fact, she cannot stop as it is her only source of income. She is willing to wait for her crops and hopes that the weather will stay as it is now.