Brunei joins world in marking Habitat Day

National 1 minute, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

EVERY year on the first Monday of October, countries around the world observe World Habitat Day.

According to the United Nations (UN), the purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also aims to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.

Since independence in 1984, the Brunei government has worked to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable and adequate housing.

More than 40,000 people have been provided subsidised housing through the National Housing Scheme and Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme. The government subsidises more than 50 per cent of the cost, allowing tenants to make interest-free repayments for up to 30 years.

This year, the UN has chosen to turn the spotlight on the people who live or have lived in informal settlements, raising awareness of the people who have no security of tenure, live with poor sanitation facilities and crowded living conditions.

There is rarely any public space in these areas and no allocation for streets, meaning no public transport and little access for emergency services.

With a quarter of the world’s population living in informal settlements, a sustainable response to improving the living conditions of the urban underprivileged is becoming increasingly necessary, said the UN yesterday.

World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202, and was first celebrated in 1986.

Every year the event takes on a new theme chosen by the international body.

The Brunei Times