Family of five living in squalid conditions get community clean up

Jacqueline Raposo

We’re going to warn you from the jump: This story is a lot like a Hoarders episode, your initial interest is piqued so you start reading, but by the time you get to the end, you’ll feel sad, depressed, and dirtier than all of the plates in this home.

Sinar Harian reports that neighbors began complaining of a stench and what appeared to be unsanitary conditions outside a rented Kedah house months ago.

Now, authorities have been called in to clear up the squalid mess that three children and their mother have been living in.

Local media and authorities video-taped a recent visit to the home, showing rubbish strewn floors, dirty dishes, and unwashed children, aged two, five and eight.

A single mattress lies in the middle of the home’s living room, laden with leftover garbage and food scraps.

Thirty-eight-year-old Sariah Ahmad claims that she cannot manage her home, nor does she have any money to decorate.

To be fair, Sariah, when you can’t bother to take out the rubbish from the inside of your own home, no one really cares that you haven’t bothered to buy a table runner.

She adds that she doesn’t cook, so purchases takeaway meals for the children to eat. Water can also be an issue, she says. “Sometimes water isn’t available, and it’s hard to wash and cook,” she explains.

However, her excuses have fallen on the frustrated ears of her local welfare department officer Mohamad Zarir Mohamad Khozali, who told Sinar Harian that the family receives a monthly allowance to “help reduce the burden.”

Community volunteers have even participated in clean-ups of the home, yet he explains that the family do little to maintain the cleanliness, and it soon succumbs to the filthy conditions it had previously been in.

Now, authorities say that if the mother cannot maintain a decent environment for her children, they will be placed under the care of welfare authorities.

Local officials have again taken part in another clean up, and are hoping that the mother can keep the premises clean and disease free.



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