Volunteers lend helping hands to flood victims
A TOTAL of 76 Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) volunteers and 31 four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles were deployed to distribute food items to flood-affected residents in Tutong.
The volunteers distributed food to the affected families in the district’s low-lying areas for the second day yesterday.
The distribution coincided with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s unscheduled visit to the flood-affected areas.
Muhd Nendaroh Datu Kornia Diraja Gadong, village chief of Kg Ukong, said they have been receiving food rations from volunteers and government agencies, but there were some families who have yet to receive donations.
The volunteers are working on the logistics to ensure faster food distribution.
“Alhamdulilah, we are grateful for the assistance provided and we are working on ensuring that all who have been affected by the floods will receive assistance,” he told The Brunei Times.
The food rations that were given out included bottled water, rice, canned food, as well as biscuits and drinks provided by the Community Development Department.
Some residents who came a bit late went home empty-handed as the food were quickly snatched up once the group reached the school.
Muhd Nendaroh also raised concerns of residents soon running out of gas to cook.
“The two shops in the village were not able to restock their cylinder gas supply as the roads are cut off. This may cause problems for those who are unable to buy gas at the neighbouring villages.
“If their gas supply runs out, they would not be able to cook food. That is why we hope the weather will stay clear for the next few days and for the floodwater level to subside,” he added.
DPS Ukong Primary School pupils have not been going to school for the last three days, as most of the pupils were affected by the floods. However, the village chief said the floods had started to recede at the school.
The volunteers gathered at the Lamunin Incident Command Post (ICP) to first divide and pack the food items equally. Each family received one carton of bottled water, one sack of rice and a bag of assorted canned food, biscuits and drinks.
The Lamunin ICP was activated on January 17.
Sufina Sulaiman, assistant volunteers coordinator officer said more food rations are expected to be distributed today.
She said those who wish to help by donating food can do so by sending the items to Lamunin ICP.
The Four Wheel Drive Association Brunei Darussalam was on hand to provide their vehicles and skills in manoeuvring the flooded roads to distribute the food rations.
To ensure they would be able to reach the residents faster, they were divided into groups. The Brunei Times joined the volunteer group heading to Kg Ukong. Other groups delivered the food rations to other villages via 4WD vehicles and boats.
Four 4WD vehicles with eight volunteers brought 70 sets of food rations to Kg Ukong. Kg Ukong is home to 1,066 residents in 225 houses.
The meeting point for the food distribution was at the DPS Ukong Primary School.
Kampung Ukong, Kg Kuala Ungar, Kg Bukit, Kg Layong, Kg Penapar-Ukong and Kg Long Mayan had been inundated since January 16.
The Brunei Times