Swift response thanks to concerted efforts

Izah Azahari

Thanks to the concerted efforts of mukim penghulus and village heads, operations are more organised and facilities more readily activated to cope with natural disasters, which has helped the government to manage the current flooding, especially in Mukim Tanjong Maya.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said this in an interview during a working visit with 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 to the flood-affected areas in the Tutong District yesterday.

The minister lauded the efforts shown by the penghulu and village heads under Mukim Tanjong Maya in establishing an organisation for the effective management of flooding disasters, as demonstrated during two floods in the area.

“They made preparations, not only in terms of manpower, but also in having assets such as four-wheel drives, boats and volunteers to be deployed when required,” he said.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri KernaDato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar explained that the reason behind the working visit was to monitor the flood situation in the district, which has persisted since November 25.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the government agencies that assisted in the management of the flooding, especially the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) which provided trucks for transportation.

“With the close cooperation of all parties and agencies, the floods in the Tutong District are under control.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong looks on as 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 hands out provisions to a flood-affected resident. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
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 during a house visit. PHOTOS: MOHA
Homes affected by the flood

“From the information received yesterday, the water levels will hopefully abate within the next few days if there is no rain and the water continues to flow towards the Tutong River, which will then allow the affected residents to return to normal life.”

The District Disaster Management Centre (DDMC) has also been assisting families whose homes have been inundated by water, placing them at the Kampong Tanjong Maya Mosque Hall and the Kampong Tanjong Maya Community Hall, which have been turned into temporary settlement centres.

The ministers visited the families, who are currently in good condition and receiving help from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar thanked the Ministry of Development for its efforts in dealing with the floods, which he said was evident during the visit.

Meanwhile, Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said JAPEM has provided aid to flood victims since a week ago. A total of 198 affected houses and over 300 families received aid from Mukim Ukong, Mukim Lamunin, Mukim Tanjong Maya and Mukim Rambai.

“JAPEM has given aid in the form of basic food, diapers, milk formula and hygiene products,” he said.

“As some families have been relocated to the temporary settlement centres, JAPEM has also given aid in terms of lodging, and packed meals to victims who have been relocated.

“During the working visit, our ministry also took the opportunity to assess the plight of the residents, as to whether the families have registered for aid through the National Welfare System (SKN). Those who have not done so were aided by our ministry, through JAPEM, to gain access to the scheme.

“We also see that some of these families do not have jobs. This is also being evaluated by JAPEM to find suitable jobs for them.”