Collapsed house leaves family homeless

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

A WOODEN stilt house and homestay in Kg Sungai Matan collapsed recently leaving a family of four with no place to live except on the charity of relatives.

On the morning of July 15, a mother and her two children were trapped in a room filled with water for more than 15 minutes before their neighbours came to rescue them.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, a 43 year-old mother, Sarina Hj Rajidin said that the two houses, 70 ‘A’ and 70 ‘B’ were located next to each other and owned by her husband’s parents in which one of the houses used to be a homestay.

“We have no other place to go and we have decided to stay with our relatives for the time being,” she said, adding that their relative houses cannot accommodate her family and they have to commute from one place to another.

Sarina said they have to close the homestay and move there early last year as they realised their former residence was not safe to dwell for the family.

During the incident, Sarina's husband, Md Ariffin Hj Matassan was on the duty at the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS).

“I was with the children in the bedroom alone when the house collapsed. Earlier before the houses collapsed I heard sound of cracking around the house and the homestay too.

“Everything fell apart in just few minutes and then we were trapped in the room.

We were in a state of shocked and frightened due to sudden collapse as well as the fact that we were not able to swim.

“I was too scared that we will drown or even worse electrocuted in water. Luckily our neighbours came to rescue us using their boat. They grabbed us instantly as they were afraid of the electricity shock too,” said Sarina.

“Our application for housing was rejected as my husband and his siblings own a piece of land in Kg Sengkurong, but unfortunately we cannot afford to build house on the land,” she said.

The family lived in Kg Ayer since 2001 and yesterday the family had to move to their relatives in Kg Katok 'B' after two days staying at the husband’s house located in front of their former residence.

Sarina said that, the incident also grab attention from the government agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department and the Community Development Department (JAPEM).

The Brunei Times