Family living in makeshift home to get help

National 1 minute, 39 seconds

BELAIT

A FAMILY claiming to have more than 20 people in one household has been living in a makeshift home in Kg Sg Bakong, Lumut after losing their house to a fire more than two decades ago.

Since 1994, Hjh Basiah Lakim and her family have been living in a house built from wooden planks with rugs and carpets to cover the ground beneath them.

However, their makeshift home has water and electricity supplied from their old house, just a few metres away.

According to homeowner Hjh Basiah, her household now accommodates 28 members altogether.

“After the fire, my husband had immediately bought the necessary materials to build this makeshift shelter in our garage as our home was completely razed,” she said.

Tragedy struck again when her husband passed away in 2003, prompting Hjh Basiah to continue seeking help for assistance.

It has been an uphill battle as she faces legal complication to rebuild her home due to the land still being under her late husband’s ownership.

“It has been going on for long, but I do hope to see my former home restored, or at least to see my grandchildren and great grandchildren living in a proper home before I draw my final breath,” she said, adding that the land ownership has been transferred under her name.

Hjh Basiah’s makeshift home was one of the places visited by the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Belait yesterday.

Mohd Ishraq Ismail, an official from Brunei Islamic Religious Council’s (MUIB) Zakat Fitrah Collection and Distribution Unit (BAKAZ) said that they are aware of the matter and are monitoring the process of ensuring that she receives the necessary help to rebuild her home.

MUIB’s housing assistance scheme was only introduced eight years ago, he said, adding there are also a number of people still on waiting list.

Mohd Ishraq hoped the family could be patient, as even though there is no timeframe allocated, their house will surely be rebuilt in due course.

The Brunei Times