KOTA KINABALU, Jan 12 — Fire victims in Kampung Pasir Putih, Putatan are hoping that the state government can help them rebuild their houses in the area.
The village’s headman Masdur Ali Akhbar said they were asking for the area to be filled with earth and then levelled before the division of (housing) lots is carried out.
“There should also be some space or distance between the houses and should not be too close like it was previously.
“What matters to us is houses, there should be a thorough discussion, but we hope to have our own homes this year,” he told Bernama at the temporary relief centre at Putatan Multipurpose Hall, today.
A total of 55 squatter homes in the village were destroyed during a blaze at 12.30pm yesterday. It was difficult to control the fire because of the low water pressure from the fire hydrants and because the houses were built too close to each other.
A total of 315 residents from 74 families were affected by the fire which spread over a four-hectare area.
Meanwhile, nearly 300 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals have come out to provide aid and food for the fire victims.
Putatan Social Welfare Department (JKM) officer Saira Tapa said every NGO or individual who provided assistance had to record their names so as to facilitate the department to distribute aid equally to all affected victims.
While the department was thankful to the NGOs and individuals for the aid including food, clothing and toiletries, what it really needed was school supplies to be given to school children affected by the fire, she said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Youth Council (MBS) president Ahmad Farid Sainuri said the agency would provide volunteers to assist agencies and relevant departments to coordinate the donations received to ensure that adequate assistance was given to all affected victims. — Bernama