'It was a lifesaver': UAE volunteers drive wheel loader through floods to deliver relief

Watch how volunteers of the Samastha Kerala Sunni Student Federation loaded up the machine with bags of supplies for stranded residents in Ajman

by

Mazhar Farooqui

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 7:08 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 May 2024, 2:18 PM

A local community organisation in Ajman has come up with an inventive solution to aid residents stranded by the recent floods.

With roads too flooded for even SUVs, the Samastha Kerala Sunni Student Federation (SKSSF - WIQAYA) quickly brought in a wheel loader to deliver much-needed supplies.


Sayyid Shuahib Thangal, SKSSF UAE National President, stressed the importance of their decision to rent the heavy machinery. 'We needed to get through those waterlogged streets fast," Thangal said. "The wheel loader was a lifesaver. We loaded it up with food, water, and essentials, making it possible to reach multiple areas with our dedicated volunteers."

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Known as the 'workhorses of heavy machinery,' wheel loaders feature tractor-like cabs, four large tyres, and a front bucket loader, enabling efficient material loading and navigation through challenging terrain.

Watch the video below:

Qamar, from Pakistan, rented out the heavy equipment machine for Dh200 per hour. He remarked, "It was a good idea, and it worked. When these folks approached me to rent the machine, I was intrigued," Qamar explained. "I initially assumed it was for a construction site, but they proved me wrong. They made incredibly effective use of the wheel loader. Its height and powerful engine were crucial in accessing areas they couldn't have reached otherwise."

For the past week, volunteers have been braving health risks, using modified SUVs, kayaks, and inflatable boats to reach stranded residents in Ajman and Sharjah. Despite several falling ill and requiring hospitalisation over the weekend, they continue to deliver vital supplies, now donning personal protective equipment (PPE). Hospitals have reported a surge in waterborne illnesses after the UAE's heaviest rainfall.

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