KUALA LUMPUR: Communities from nine flood-prone villages in three states will soon be trained to become disaster-resilient under a Red Crescent Society (MRCS) programme.
MRCS’s Dr S. Selva Jothi said the society would introduce “Adoption of Village” programme to ensure that if these villages were to suffer disasters again, people there would be able to help themselves.
“The programme is to adopt the village (to the floods) and train them to be safe and resilient,” the MRCS national organisational development committee chairman said yesterday.
This, he said, meant that such villages would be able to deal with health and water safety risks, and also have early disaster warning systems.
Villages would also adopt a “culture of coping with crisis”, taking hygiene sanitation into account and making sure that local economies were resilient in such events.
He said of the nine villages to be chosen, four were in Kelantan, three were in Terengganu and two were in Pahang.
One Kelantan village, Kampung Pasir Tumbok, has thus far been earmarked for this programme, he said, adding that it was currently going through a second phase of assessments.
Another eight, he said, were in the pipeline with some villages being assessed.
He expected that this sort of training to take at least a year per village (two years at the most), with a total cost of RM5mil.
Some RM3.2mil, he said, donated from sponsors and others had been collected so far for this purpose.
He added that MRCS would not be in charge of physically rebuilding the village itself, adding that it would either be left to locals or contractors.
Dr Selva said it started with an Orang Asli village in Johor known as Kampung Peta that had been destroyed by floods there in 2006.
He said that MRCS trained people there in disaster preparedness, so much so that they became experts of it, going to even Kedah to help out when floods struck there in 2009.
Over 200,000 people in Malaysia became refugees when floods swept through Malaysia’s East Coast, with some villages completely destroyed by the waters.
In a related matter, MRCS national chairman Tunku Tan Sri Shahriman Tunku Sulaiman thanked The Star and Firefly for working with the society to collect flood relief donations.