Temporary relief for storm victims

, National 2 minutes, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

STORM victims who were evacuted from their damaged homes are being housed at Sungai Kebun’s Menjalin Sports Complex as temporary shelter, while the Ministry of Home Affairs is still repairing their homes.

The Community Development Department (JAPEM) is also rendering its assistance in the form of food rations and household essentials.

In an interview, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman said JAPEM has been distributing packed meals to the storm-affected residents.

Packed meals had been distributed to 50 houses in the Brunei-Muara district, and JAPEM is also providing mattresses, pillows and blankets, she said.

Datin Hjh Adina added that one family is currently residing at the Menjalin Sports Complex and two more families are expected to temporarily move there soon.

In the Tutong district, seven houses had been affected, six in Belait and another six in Temburong.

The storm was the tail-end effect of Typhoon Chan-hom that battered hundreds of houses in Brunei on Friday.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina said: “We were informed that many of those affected have gone to live with their extended family, while waiting for their roofs to be fixed.”

“This is what Brunei is all about. We have a caring society and caring families who have offered help in times of trouble. We must not lose this caring value system of our society,” she said.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina said many individuals have approached her on how they can send food and donations to the storm victims.

Meanwhile, a victim of a collapsed house in the water village’s Kg Lurong Dalam, said JAPEM had offered them to stay at a flat in Kg Belimbing.

“My parents refused the offer as we cannot afford to pay the monthly rental. We were told that the flat will be free for three months only…” said Muhamad Yassin Kifli in a phone interview.

Currently staying at the Menjalin Sports Complex, the 25-year-old said the two-room flat cannot accommodate all of his family members.

Muhamad Yassin further said his father had applied for the National Housing Scheme in 1995 but was rejected.

“There is nothing else we want but our own house to live in. I did not know the reason behind the rejection of the application, but I hoped the relevant agency can approve it,” he said.

The eldest child out of eight siblings added that his family has been receiving assistance from their relatives in terms of basic necessities.

He further said no assistance from government agencies was given yet aside from the temporary shelter at the complex.

A group of volunteers named Project Nurkaseh had been collecting monetary donations and household items for the family.

Hjh Faezah Hj Daud, a member of the volunteer group, said over $600 of money was collected from concerned individuals for the victims.

“We will be handing over the donations today and we hope more help is extended to this family,” she said.

Some of the items include clothes, food and footwear to be used for the upcoming Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

The Brunei Times