Farmer takes cattle through floods

National 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Tutong

WHILE flood-hit residents scrambled to salvage their cars and belongings from the rising waters, an 82-year-old Kg Tg Maya resident had other worries on his mind.

Zainuddin Ismail has been rearing cattle on his farm for more than 30 years. However, the heavy rains have inundated his farm and forced him to relocate his water buffaloes to drier pastures.

“I own some 10 water buffaloes... and usually, a full-grown male water buffalo can (sell for) up to $2000,” Zainuddin said.

“But farming here (in Kg Tanjong Maya) is not easy. Setting up my farm, gates, wires were already expensive and if the floods get too high, I have to transport them (the cattle),” he said.

The senior citizen has had to manually lead his cattle, three at a time, through knee-deep floods.

He led the water buffaloes from his farm to the main road via a by-road. However, the by-road was too inundated for Zainuddin to use his car to tow the cattle. Instead, he had to make do with little else besides a walking stick and his own strength.

A 34-year-old resident of Kg Lubok Meranti of Mukim Tg Maya said flooding forced him to park his car some 70 metres away from his house.

“I already moved my cars the night before (Wednesday night) when it rained because I knew it was going to flood heavily,” said Suzeemin Hj Md Taib, a national futsal coach in the district.

“The flood water levels do not rise simply because of the rain, rather the flooding worsens when the rain water from higher level areas comes down and accumulates, usually in the morning,” he explained.

Asked what was his major concern on the floods, Suzeemin raised the issue of safety.

“Thankfully, the road has already been elevated (in the past by the government) but the rain this time was just continuous,” he said.

“The middle part of the (submerged) road is murky and we cannot clearly see insects, leeches or even snakes in the water,” Suzeemin added.

However, he said that he can still manage to traverse the floods while on his own time, but it did become a problem when he went to work or had to send his children to school.

On the other hand, residents who have been less affected by the floods have pitched in to help those who were not as fortunate.

Seeing the difficulties experienced by her fellow villagers, Hjh Kamariah Mahari said her family offered their row boat for others to use.

The 68-year-old said that she considered herself fortunate because her house was not in a low-lying area and thus, was not severely affected by the floods.

“Even though they (those in affected areas) did not directly ask for assistance from us, we just offered to lend a boat so they have more options to get back to their homes,” she told The Brunei Times.

Two boats (one of them belonging to Hjh Kamariah’s family) were left near the main road, for villagers to use. Hjh Kamariah said that these were just simple initiatives to help others.

“In the 1980s it flooded like this too but this time... (the floods have been) more frequent,” she said.

“The worry here is what happens if there are any emergencies like (if people have) serious injuries (and) need to go to the hospital urgently.”

The Brunei Times