Aid workers seeking air support to send food supplies to Pitas villages

Villagers in Sabah's northern Pitas getting food assistance from organised bynon-governmental organisation Reach Out .

KOTA KINABALU: Aid workers are seeking air support to send food supplies to some 110 families in a remote area of Sabah's northern Pitas peninsular after main links to their villages were cut off due to bad weather which hit the state last week.

Non-governmental organisation Reach Out is hoping to get food supplies flown to the villagers as the main bridge link was damaged by floods.

She said the Layang-Layang Helicopter Academy was sponsoring helicopters to distribute food in Kampung Lok Dangkaan and nearby villages in Pitas on Tuesday (Jan 19) as it was cut off totally by damaged road links and rough sea conditions.

Reach Out's Fauziah Mohd Fuad Stephen, who is organising chairman for the assistance efforts, said that the affected villagers have asked for assistance as they had run out of food.

She said Reach Out was working with 12 volunteers from the area.

"Most of the villages affected have received food sent from the government, but a few were missed out for whatever reason. Our organisation is still trying to fill in the gaps," she said.

On Thursday (Jan 21), Reach Out volunteers sent food aid to about 235 families in five villages that could not be reached by road as a few landslides had blocked the main road.

Volunteers on ten vehicles braved slippery muddy roads and managed to reach a meeting point and villagers hand-carried the food supplies to their respective villages.

The food aid donated by the public included 10kg bags of rice, oil, salt, sugar, soya sauce, noodles and a tray of eggs and hot drink formulas for each family.

Some of the four-wheel-drive vehicle volunteers also donated solar light kits, among others, as villages still did not have electricity since bad weather hit the district on Jan 11 and 12.

Fauziah said that public donations from both locals and peninsular Malaysia had helped to assist those affected and they were continuing to raise funds to help targeted groups.

She said several NGOs, including the Red Crescent Society were also chipping in to provide assistance for the people in Pitas, one of Sabah's poorest regions, about 300km from the state capital.

Public wanting to help can contact Fauziah at 013-872 5659.

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Sabah , Pitas , Food aid , Floods


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