Villagers invest in boats as a back-up plan

SEGAMAT: The Malay proverb “sediakan payung sebelum hujan” (prepare an umbrella before it rains) is truly evidenced in Kampung Batu Badak here where most homes are equipped with fibreglass boats in the face of floods.

Their investments are not in vain, as when disaster strikes, they are able to save their property and loved ones.

Rubber tapper Mohammad Yahaya, 49, said he bought a boat and an engine for about RM8,000 a few years ago so that he could move his family and neighbours to higher ground during the floods.

“Our village and Sungai Muar River are about one kilometre apart, so when the river overflows, our house will be flooded.

“As we live near the river, flooding is normal. All we have to do is to always be prepared,” he said when met by Bernama.

Mohammad said the major floods he experienced in the village were back in 2006 and 2011.

“The situation then was worse than this (current flood) because the water rose to above the roofs of the houses.

“It took a month for the situation to return to normal,” he recalled.

A survey of the village found most areas still flooded, with many of the boats still docked at the Seberang Batu Badak bridge.

Some of the boat owners have set up tents in the area to keep watch over the boats.

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