Sunday March 10, 2013
Lahad Datu: Gruelling life for those displaced by Sulu gunmen
LAHAD DATU: Suhana Ahma fans her two-month-old first-born with a piece of cardboard to ward off flies as he sleeps on the concrete floor.
Their home for now is the Cenderawasih community hall located in the massive Felda Sahabat land development scheme (240,000ha), about four times bigger than Singapore island.
Suhala, 24, and her husband, Mohd Yusof Atti, 29, are among 2,000 people from several villages relocated to several community halls here after Sulu gunmen came to shore.
Apart from Cenderawasih, located near the main township, the other centres are Fajar Bakti and Embara Budi, some 20km away.
As they wait out the offensive against the gunmen, the displaced families try to make the best of their disrupted lives.
At Embara Budi, Effa Shamira Pihrin was seen drying her younger brother's diapers.
The nine-year-old said she had been helping to wash and dry the now-tattered diapers for nearly a week since they were relocated to the community hall.
Daily life is still uncomfortable a single toilet is being used by more than 600 people.
As they wait for the hostilities to cease, displaced families worry about their homes and properties but are thankful to be in a safe place.
“We can only pray for the best and that the security forces complete their mission soon,'' said Taiba Majijir, 60, of Kg Tanjung Labian.