Rice farmers, traders urged to help prevent bushfires

National 1 minute, 40 seconds

TEMBURONG

AS THE country confronts the El Nino weather pattern and with bushfires cropping up, relevant authorities have embarked on several measures to ensure that incidents are managed properly and effectively.

With daily temperatures recorded as high as 35 degrees Celsius and the situation expected to continue until March, authorities informed rice farmers and traders regarding prevention and preparation measures to be taken during the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Hjh Umaimah Hj Mohamad from Temburong District Office, in her capacity as a secretariat to Temburong District Disaster Management Committee, said a seminar on fire prevention was one of the initiatives taken by the committee to raise awareness on issues that might be faced during the El Nino phenomenon.

“It is hoped that the seminar will not only be beneficial for the farmers but the public are also encouraged to take precautions and be aware of these issues to avoid any disasters,” she said.

The rice farmers and traders, more than 50 of them, attended the briefing by the Fire and Rescue Department at the Temburong’s Belalong Hall yesterday.

Assistant Superintendent of Fire and Rescue ASFR Harith Samat briefed the participants on procedures and precautions that they should take in case of fire.

Environment Officer Dk Haryanti Pg Hj Petra from the Environment Department briefed the participants on the importance of preventing air pollution.

In addition, the farmers were also briefed on steps to avoid accidental open burning and forest fires which can be the main cause of air pollution especially during drought.

According to the latest statistics issued by the Fire and Rescue Department in January this year, a total of 1,116 forest and grass fires were recorded in 2015.

Brunei-Muara recorded the highest numbers of forest and grass fires of 374 and 154, respectively while Temburong recorded the lowest among the four districts with only five forest fires and three grass fires.

Also attending the seminar were staffs and officers from The Publics Works Department (JKR) and Temburong District Office.

The Brunei Times