KUANTAN: “Sorry, we can only do so much”. That is among the phrases often uttered by members of the Jembara Al-Falah (Jembara) charity team every time they finish cleaning up houses of flood victims in Kuantan for the past few days.

Its chairman Abdul Rahim Othman, 61, said the team, comprising government and private retirees aged between 55 and 70, tried their best to assist and hoped that their small contribution would alleviate the burden of flood victims.

“We may not be as strong as young people but our spirit to help them (flood victims) remains strong…that is why we look for homes that need assistance in terms of cleaning, such as that of our team member’s relatives, single mothers and those who don’t have many family members.

“We would ask around to find these houses and some people even reach out to us via Facebook when they see the photos of us in action,” he told Bernama when met here on Saturday (Dec 25).

Abdul Rahim jokingly said that cleaning the flood victims’ houses was one of their ways of exercising as all 50 members of the Jembara Club are used to participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping.

Elaborating, he said that Jembara also preferred to work independently without receiving donations from the public to avoid matters arising in the future, adding that they used the club’s money which also includes the profit of a food stall that they run together in Sungai Isap here.

So far, Abdul Rahim said only one individual managed to persuade the club to accept donations and the money had been used to buy water jets to facilitate their cleaning works, especially in houses covered in thick mud.

“We usually start our work at 9am because we need to finish everything by noon. We have muezzin among our team members, hence, we need to settle before the zuhur prayer,” he said.

Commenting further, he said the club’s initiative to assist flood victims started early this year when they saw the photos of the impact of severe floods in the Maran and Pekan districts, prompting them to spend their own money to buy cleaning equipment before going to the affected locations.

“Unexpectedly, the floods occurred twice this year. Since we already have the equipment, we better continue our efforts to assist people in distress. Even though we are tired, the word of appreciation from house owners made us happy and satisfied with our effort,” he said.- Bernama