Public urged to take part in NDMC programmes

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PARTICIPATING in the National Disaster Management Centre’s (NDMC) community-based programmes is crucial in order for the public, especially residents of disaster-prone areas, to better prepare themselves during the time of disasters in the sultanate.

Speaking to The Brunei Times recently, Acting Director of NDMC Abdul Rahim Hj Ismail urged members of the public to join the programmes organised by NDMC in raising awareness about the importance of taking disaster preparedness seriously in the sultanate.

This is imperative because the community itself have to respond the first during natural disasters before relevant agencies or emergency services arrive on the scene, said Abdul Rahim.

“Hence, if they (the community) know what actions to take during these occurrences, it will definitely make a difference and lessen the risks and impacts of these disasters (upon the community),” he said.

He added that the centre in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders has been actively conducting various programmes for building a more ‘resilient community’ by educating the public of the risks and impacts of disasters in the country.

This includes the community-based disaster risk management programmes where NDMC visits villages and educates the residents on ways of handling disasters and ensuring their safety during such catastrophes.

“Even if they (the public), especially those living in the disaster-prone areas miss these programmes, they are more than welcome to visit our team at NDMC,” said the acting director.

He went on to say that the public should be proactive and avoid taking matters of natural disasters lightly as what most Bruneians normally do.

“For example, during flood, people should not go out and play in the water as it could be dangerous and the likes.

“This is why we encourage people to educate themselves on these matters; be aware of their own environment, be knowledgeable of the preventive and safety measures such as First Aid as these will come in handy when at the time (of disaster),” said Abdul Rahim.

It was previously reported that the centre is also distributing the basic guidelines for emergency and public safety book to further educate public in preparing themselves for disasters and emergencies.

The guide book, which is equipped with safety guidelines and actions for both natural and man-made disasters — including performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), rescuing someone from drowning, surviving a flood, responding to bomb threat, and protection against haze and fire prevention — are given to the public free-of-charge with copies available at NDMC headquarters in Berakas.

The Brunei Times