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Ministry To Buy Lorries, Boats To Send Aid Faster During Disasters

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PUTRAJAYA – The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry plans to buy assets such as lorries and boats for more efficient transportation of goods during disasters, said Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said it was proposed to station these assets at five disaster-aid supply depots, namely Sungai Buloh (Selangor); Sungai Petani (Kedah); Batu Pahat (Johor); Kuala Terengganu (Terengganu) and Kota Baharu (Kelantan).

Rohani said the decision to purchase these assets was made following the experience of a delay in the sending of aid to flood victims recently.

“We had to hire or borrow assets from the military, Department of Civil Defence, police and so on to transport goods from the depots and, sometimes, these assets had to be used to rescue people first.

“We are trying to secure these assets this year but we have to look at the budget first or, possibly, seek a supplementary allocation,” she told reporters after the first monthly assembly of the ministry for this year, here Tuesday.

Asked about complaints from flood victims that they were often served sardines, Rohani said the ministry would consider providing other canned food in the future.

“During the first three days at relief centres without kitchens, this food is the easiest to prepare and serve. In the future, we may consider providing canned food such as chicken curry and so on,” she said.

Earlier, Rohani flagged off three teams of 74 volunteers from the ministry to Perak and Kelantan, raising to 264 the number of volunteers sent to assist with post-flood work.

Besides, 310 counsellors were handling 4,290 cases, she said.

Meanwhile, the disaster relief operations room of the Welfare Ministry reported that 5,516 flood victims from 1,281 families were still at 41 relief centres in several states.

The number of evacuees in Pahang had risen to 1,828 this afternoon from 1,271 in the morning while there were 1,525 evacuees in Kelantan, 2,137 in Perak and 26 in Johor. – BERNAMA

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