By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, June 6: With mid-year temperatures expected to increase, two families living in stuffy abandoned containers at Mile 10 Jalan Kuap in Padawan can finally have proper housing, albeit temporary.
With no electricity, water or toilet and bathroom, these four adults with two young children have made do with what they can for the past year.
Juggling with a toddler while packing their belongings, Nurul Syafiqah Bujang, 27, said they’ve been living in the abandoned containers for one year.
“Together with my husband and children, we moved from Kampung Siol Kandis to this place due to job employment. We managed to secure daily paid odd jobs nearby, hence we had to move because we have no car or motorcycle to commute.
“If we show up for work, we can earn RM40 a day. We could not afford to rent a house or room yet, so we chose to stay at these abandoned containers. Although there is no electricity or water, at least there is some sort of shelter for us,” Nurul Syafiqah said when met at the site.
A fire hydrant next to a monsoon drain located about 100 meters away is where the family members take their showers, wash their clothes and do their general cleaning. All out in the open.
Meanwhile, Marikan Abu Seman, 52, lives in the other container with his wife.
Although not related to Nurul Syafiqah’s family, Marikan’s wife would help to look after her children when the younger couple goes out to work.
“Similar to Nurul Syafiqah and her husband, we moved from Siol Kandis to this container because there is a job for me nearby but I could not afford to rent a room or house.
“However, due to my age, I can only work half day, meaning I bring home RM20 per day,” Marikan said.
Today, with the help of ADUN Batu Kitang Lo Khere Chiang and his SUPP Batu Kitang Woman Chief Suzzilawati Suhaili, the once homeless families have been moved to a two-bedroom shop lot unit located at Mile 7, Kota Sentosa.
Speaking to reporters while the families packed their belongings, Lo said it was Suzzilawati’s pesistence and efforts in helping these families by coordinating from the beginning.
“When Suzzilawati heard of these families living in containers, she took the task to visit them and get all the details. She then informed me and asked if we could help, which I straightaway said ‘go ahead’.
KUCHING, June 6: Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang visiting a family found living in a container at 10th Mile Jalan Kuap.
With the help from Lo and SUPP Batu Kitang, they rented a 2 bedroom shop unit at Mile 7 for the family to stay temporarily. Sarawak HDC has also agreed to allocate a house for the family. – DayakDaily
Posted by DayakDaily on Friday, 5 June 2020
“She managed to coordinate with Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development, Welfare Department and Baitulmal Sarawak. The family will receive welfare aid,” Lo said.
On top of that, Suzzilawati has also put in an application for them to apply for Rumah Mesra Rakyat under Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
“So for the time being, SUPP Batu Kitang has rented the two-bedroom shoplot at Mile 7, Kota Sentosa temporarily for the family.
“It is heartbreaking to see them living in such condition. With two young children and two elderly adults, they need to stay in a conducive and safer environment,” Lo added.
Two families of four adults and two children have been living in these abandoned containers at Mile 10, Jalan Kuap.Meanwhile, he revealed that there were also several kind donors who gave the families new mattresses, pillows, household items, toiletries and food ration.
When asked how do they feel about moving to a proper house, Suzzilawati replied, “We are just so grateful for this. It will be nice to have a proper roof over our head with a clean bathroom and safer kitchen to cook food. When you are homeless, it is hard.”—DayakDaily