In the north-eastern state of Malaysia lies a region plagued by a relentless and heartbreaking phenomenon: the never-ending floods of Kelantan. For decades, the people of Kelantan have endured the devastating consequences of annual floods, facing unimaginable hardships and witnessing the destruction of their homes, livelihoods, and hopes. This article aims to shed light on the oppressed voices of the flood victims, highlighting the ongoing struggle and the frustrating lack of solutions that has left the community feeling abandoned and helpless.
Decades of Despair
Year after year, the people of Kelantan find themselves caught in a cyclical nightmare, as the floods inundate their lives, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Picture the torrential rains pouring down, turning the streets into treacherous rivers, and homes into temporary islands. Families huddle on rooftops, seeking refuge from the rising waters that swallow everything in their path. It is a scene of unimaginable despair and loss.
But the pain doesn't end when the floodwaters recede. The aftermath brings a haunting reality—homes reduced to mud-soaked ruins, belongings swept away, and cherished memories forever lost. The arduous task of rebuilding begins, only to be disrupted once again when the next flood season arrives. The people of Kelantan have become weary warriors, constantly battling against a force of nature that seems insurmountable.
The Oppressed Voices
The voices of the flood victims in Kelantan have been stifled for far too long. Their pleas for help and intervention have largely fallen on deaf ears, as the outside world remains largely unaware of their plight. The absence of widespread coverage and international attention further compounds their suffering, relegating their struggles to the realms of indifference and forgotten narratives.
But within this community lies a wealth of untold stories, tales of resilience and unwavering determination.
Meet Nisa, a young woman who dreams of pursuing higher education, but each year her ambitions are swept away along with her family's livelihood.
Witness Hafiz, a father of three, who toils tirelessly to rebuild his modest home, only to watch it succumb to the floodwaters time and time again.
These are just a few examples of the countless individuals who endure the relentless cycle of loss and despair.
Non-Fixable or Non-Addressed?
The lack of a comprehensive and lasting solution to the flood crisis in Kelantan has left the community feeling abandoned and betrayed. Governments come and go, promising swift action and lasting change, yet the floodwaters continue to rise unabated, year after year. The people are left to wonder if their plight is perceived as an insurmountable problem, deemed too challenging or expensive to address effectively.
The annual floods in Kelantan are not an act of God; they are a result of years of neglect and inadequate infrastructure. The rivers, once lifelines for the community, have become menacing threats. The deforestation of upstream areas, uncontrolled development, and insufficient drainage systems have exacerbated the situation. The consequences of human actions have amplified the devastation caused by nature, and yet the solutions remain elusive.
Living with the Unthinkable
The never-ending flood has forced the people of Kelantan into a state of perpetual limbo. The constant threat of displacement and the uncertainty of their future weigh heavily on their hearts. Children grow up knowing that every year they will have to leave their homes, schools, and friends behind, only to return to a scene of devastation and loss.
Imagine the anguish of Azman, a fisherman who has seen his boats washed away, leaving his once-thriving livelihood in ruins.
Imagine the heartbreak of Farah, a single mother, as she watches her children endure the trauma of repeatedly losing their home- their sense of security shattered with each flood.
Communities are fractured, relationships strained, and the economic stability of the region is eroded. The people of Kelantan face a cruel reality where rebuilding becomes a grim routine, overshadowing any prospects of progress or development. The nonchalant acceptance of the flood as an unavoidable fate perpetuates a culture of helplessness and stagnation, leaving the community trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair.
A Call for Empathy and Action
The never-ending flood in Kelantan is not just a natural disaster; it is a human tragedy that demands our attention and compassion. The voices of the flood victims must no longer be silenced or forgotten. It is time for the world to recognize their plight, to empathise with their struggles, and join forces in seeking tangible and sustainable solutions.
The people of Kelantan deserve more than an annual battle against the rising tides. They deserve security, dignity, and the chance to rebuild their lives without the haunting specter of the floodwaters. It is only through concerted efforts, compassionate action, and a commitment to change that we can hope to end the perpetual suffering endured by the resilient inhabitants of Kelantan.
Let their stories serve as a clarion call to the world, reminding us that no one should be left to face such a calamity alone. It is time to rally together, to demand accountability, and to push for comprehensive strategies that address the root causes of the never-ending flood. The people of Kelantan need our empathy, our support, and our collective determination to make a difference. Together, we can rewrite their story—one that speaks of resilience, hope, and a brighter future, free from the shackles of perpetual floods.
By, Aizat Hazlee, Vice Executive Director, Charisma Movement 22/23.