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Muslim volunteers mobilise to aid victims of Storm Desmond floods

29th Jan 2016
Muslim volunteers mobilise to aid victims of Storm Desmond floods

Muslims from Leicester helping clear mud flood in Bolton

Hassan Joudi

As severe storms caused intense flooding in many parts of the UK over the Christmas and New Year period, Muslim volunteers organised themselves to provide assistance to disaster-stricken communities.

Al-Imdaad Foundation, an Islamic charity from Blackburn, was one of the first on the ground in North-West England in December, offering food, fresh water and manpower for cleaning-up flooded properties.

Many volunteers even took time off work to travel over 100 miles to Carlisle, Keswick and other affected areas. “A lot of people have been decorating their homes for Christmas and have been literally crying on our shoulders,” said volunteer Sufyaan Valimulla.

In Cumbria, the well-known British Charity, Islamic Relief, raised and contributed £10,000 of donations to various projects to help the Cumbrian community get back on their feet, as part of its domestic programme working to help people in the UK.

Homeowners and business owners – some of whom had to be temporarily housed in hotels and hostels – were also helped by Islamic Relief volunteers from Manchester, Bradford and Hull who had made the journey to help. “’Have you ever felt like you can’t go home?’ were the words from one of the locals that really stuck with me.

“I have never experienced or actually thought of the impact of my home being intruded by cold dirty water,” said Hamza Afzal, Islamic Relief volunteer.

In Scotland, Muslims in Aberdeen organised a beach clean on January 16, after recent storms caused large amounts of rubbish to wash up on the seaside.

About 40 volunteers braved freezing outdoor temperatures to remove plastic, wood and other items of rubbish that had come in from the sea and washed-up from inland flooding across North-East Scotland.
Sumon Hoque, local organiser of Aberdeen Muslims Flood Relief, said, “People at the mosque heard about the recent flooding and we wanted to help out. When we heard that our local beach was filled with litter from the storms, we directed our efforts towards that.”

Fatima, Medical student at Aberdeen University said, “It’s been a memorable experience for me to be part of the team helping and of course I felt at ease seeing the part of the beach we covered looking much cleaner.”

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