Ministers visit flood-hit Tutong

Izah Azahari

Unpredictable weather and continuous downpour have led to rising water levels in the interior regions of Tutong District, particularly in Kampong Benutan, with several villages including Kampong Rambai, Kampong Kuala Ungar, Kampong Panchong, Kampung Bukit, Kampong Layong, Kampong Penapar, Kampong Tanjong Maya and Kampong Lubok Pulau experiencing heavy flooding and impassable roadways.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin conducted a working visit to the district to review the flood situation yesterday.

The visit was a continuation to an earlier one made to flood-affected areas in the Temburong District on December 1, with district officials as the chairmen of the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC).

As a concerted effort between government agencies, mukim penghulus and village heads, together with the Tutong District Office, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) are continuing to work together in monitoring the situation. The Tutong District Disaster Management Committee is also collaborating with relevant agencies to safeguard the welfare of residents in the flood-affected areas.

Acting Tutong District Officer Md Amirul Hadi bin Haji Md Tajudin, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Tutong DDMC, gave a briefing on the developments in the area and the aid being provided at the Incident Control Centre of the Lamunin Fire Station.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the visit to Tutong District. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

Among the areas visited yesterday was Sungai Layong, for an inspection of the water levels and the affected houses.

This was followed by a visit to temporary settlement centres set up at the Kampong Tanjong Maya Community Hall and the Kampong Tanjong Maya Mosque.

At the settlement centres, the ministers interacted with the families and handed out provisions to the head of each family.

The visit ended at the houses of two residents in Kampong Lubok Pulau, followed with a presentation of food rations by the ministers.

Since the recent spate of heavy rains, the Tutong DDMC has coordinated assistance and monitoring with security agencies in the Tutong District, as well as community leaders in the affected villages. The RBPF has been conducting regular patrols of the flooded roadways, to keep watch on vehicles parked along the shoulder of the road. Police signs were also installed along the flooded routes.

Five transport vehicles from the 2nd Battalion of the RBAF were stationed at affected roads in Jalan Belunu Kampong Layong, Simpang Empat Kampong Panchong/Kuala Ungar/Rambai and Jalan Sungai Damit, Ukong to assist villagers in need.

The Tutong District Office also reminds the public to be vigilant and to take safety measures during the flood season, and to monitor their children so as to not play in flooded areas.

Also present during the visit were Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Penghulu of Mukim Tanjong Maya Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Wahab bin Apong; LegCo member and Penghulu of Mukim Telisai Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit; Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) Mohd Amir Hairil bin Haji Mahmud; Deputy Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the MoHA Abdul Walid bin Haji Matassan; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS); Acting Permanent Secretary (Security and Welfare) at the MoHA; senior officials from MoHA and MCYS, as well as members of the Tutong DDMC.