Mercy distributes food assistance to Penampang flood victims

The Chairman of Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter, Dr Anbarasu Ramalingam (left) handing over food assistance to a wheelchair-bound volunteer and Penampang flood victim, Francis Xavier Kinji, 33 at the Penampang Sports Complex in Sabah yesterday. PHOTO: BERNAMA
The Chairman of Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter, Dr Anbarasu Ramalingam (left) handing over food assistance to a wheelchair-bound volunteer and Penampang flood victim, Francis Xavier Kinji, 33 at the Penampang Sports Complex in Sabah yesterday. PHOTO: BERNAMA

PENAMPANG: Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter yesterday began distributing food assistance to villagers affected by flood since May 29 (Thursday) in Penampang here.

Its chairman, Dr Anbarasu Ramalingam said the effort was part of Mercy Malaysia’s objective to fulfil the needs of the society in view of any disaster, besides carrying out medical missions.

“Today, Mercy Malaysia will be distributing some food assistance in the form of dry food materials and water in view of the flash flood that occurred in Penampang.

“We have been working together with local elected representatives to fulfil the needs of the villagers, whom some have been stranded for days and some have lost all their food supply due to the overwhelming flood situation,” he said here yesterday.

He was met at the Penampang Sports Complex swimming pool building that was turned into an evacuation centre.

Based on the needs as assessed by the ground team of the local elected representatives, 200 cartons of drinking water and 200 packs of rice would be distributed to some 200 families, according to Dr Anbarasu.

Meanwhile, a wheelchair-bound volunteer was also present to lend a hand in managing the evacuation centre, which is currently sheltering seven victims. The centre received 13 people when it first began operating. Francis Xavier Kinjin, 33, from Kampung Dabak near here, was evacuated with his mother to the sports complex by a team of Malaysian Civil Defence Force personnel early yesterday morning when the water level rose in his village.

With 10 years of voluntary work mainly in flood incidents, the entrepreneur, who was born without his lower limbs, offered to handle the evacuation centre.

“I was one of the first groups of disabled volunteers and I serve under the Sabah Volunteers Association and Sabah Welfare Volunteer Centre. I usually help to take care of evacuation centres during floods,” he said.

Fourteen villages in Penampang were affected by floods due to non-stop heavy rain since Thursday while several areas in the west coast of Sabah including Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Papar, Putatan and Kota Belud were also inundated.- Bernama