Local Muslims dig out wellies and spades to help in relief effort
Islamic charities flood in to bring aid to Cumbria
Islamic charities based in West Yorkshire have joined forces with soldiers to provide aid and assistance to the people affected by devastating floods caused by Storm Desmond last week.
During recent weeks, the persistent rainfall has left over 1,400 people homeless in the town of Glenridding.
One rain gauge in Cumbria recorded 341mm of rain in just 24 hours over the weekend, which has beaten the highest –ever recorded English rainfall of 316mm in 2009.
Farook Yunus, project manager for Leeds-based youth organisation Kumon Y’all told the Asian Express: “When we heard what had happened in Cumbria, we felt the pain. We said, let’s share in this pain and go and help the flood victims.”
Seventeen volunteers from Kumon Ya’ll organized mini-buses and drove nearly 90 miles from West Yorkshire to Cumbria.
Farook Yunus continued: “We hear and look at [the floods] in the news but when you see it for yourself, you realise the hardship people are going through. We saw houses with 10cm of mud splattered all the way up the walls. It’s amazing the amount of devastation a flood can cause. It may take months and months to put right.”
Kumon Y’all were joined in the Lancashire town by Batley-based One Nation. The two groups immediately began their mission to dig up mud and debris from the affected houses in sub-zero temperatures and sheets of rain.
Armed with wellington boots and spades, the volunteers managed to help people in three houses, which was a huge triumph.
Farook said: “We wanted to get our hands dirty and help out physically. We put garbage and debris into trucks and worked hand-in-hand with the army. There are still hundreds of houses left that need our assistance, so we are going back to Cumbria again next weekend.”
Kumon Y’all’s biggest achievement was seeing the smiles on the faces of the families who were caught up in the deluge and working alongside the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regimen.
Lieutenant Peter Coates said: “Everybody just got involved and got on with it in conditions which were far from ideal. A lot of people will be satisfied by donating money, but these guys have voluntarily given up their weekend to travel some distance […] and that says an awful lot about them and their characters.”
Farook added: “Whatever the problem may be, whatever religion or ethnicity you are, we can all come together and co-operate. I would especially like to thank the people of the Salafia Mosque in Huddersfield and the Zakariyya Mosque in Batley.”
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