Call for more activities, healthy food at Bandarku Ceria event

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI residents who joined the first car-free day in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday lauded the initiative, but added that more could be done to improve the event, including offering a wider range of healthy food choices.

Members of the public interviewed by The Brunei Times said there were not a lot of stalls selling healthy food during the Bandarku Ceria programme.

One of the participants who only wanted to be known as PD Masjidah said she would like to see more youth selling healthier food options, including non-sugary beverages.

She also noted that the current infrastructure can make it difficult for some participants to carry out their activities.

“It would be good if there are permanent and proper lanes for cyclists and better pathways for pedestrians, especially for people in wheelchairs and strollers, so that more people can enjoy Bandar,” she said.

She praised the event as an exemplary initiative by the government and community to promote healthy lifestyle and family bonding.

“Wherever I look, I see smiles. (People) really enjoy being out early in the morning, to walk and ride,” added PD Masjidah, who went to the event with her husband and grandson.

Professor Eric Dimla, dean of Universiti Teknologi Brunei’s Faculty of Engineering, also recommended vendors to set up stalls selling healthy food options.

He said vendors could include nutritional guidelines as a way of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The professor too lauded the event, saying “everyone seems to be having a jolly good time”.

Meanwhile, avid cyclist Ali Ibn Abdullah praised the organisers for a well-executed programme, adding that first emergency responders were present for any incidents.

He went on to say that the police officers have also done a good job managing the traffic.

When asked about suggestions to improve the initiative, he said more cycling lanes would be beneficial in the long term.

However, he acknowledged that building cycling lanes can be expensive and time-consuming.

The 32-year-old said educating the public is one way of making cycling safer on the roads.

“Maybe a radio or television campaign can be done to alert drivers on what they can and can’t do on the road around cyclists,” he added.

Professor Dimla added that the perception of safety will determine one’s motivation to cycle on the roads.

“I think as a cyclist, all you really want is to feel safe. You have to feel safe and if you are safe, your confidence is there. That confidence is the motivation to go out more to exercise,” he said.

The Bandarku Ceria programme is held every Sunday morning, from 6am until 10am to promote a healthy lifestyle, reduce carbon emissions and promote business opportunities for small and medium enterprises.

The Brunei Times