Bandar Seri Begawan - A total of $78,200 in cash was distributed to fire victims at Kampung Setia 'A' in Kampung Ayer yesterday to help lessen their burdens. The 146 victims also received food rations and other essentials during a ceremony held at the Perdana Wangsa Haji Mohammad Mosque, Kampung Ayer.
According to the Community Development Deparment (JAPEM), the food rations, which include baby milk powders and disposable diapers, will last for a week. Basic living materials such as mattresses, pillows and blankets have also been provided.
The handing over was officiated by Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. Also at the ceremony were Datin Paduka Hjh Adina binti Othman Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dyg Hjh Misnah bte Hj Bolhassan Director of the Community Development Department and officers from the Brunei-Muara District.
The victims comprised 27 families living in 10 houses that were razed to the ground last Saturday.
In an interview, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hazair hoped that the immediate relief could help alleviate problems faced by the recipients and start rebuilding their new homes and lives.
The Bulletin also asked whether the government would be providing assistance in rebuilding the damaged homes considering that Kg Setia 'A' is situated in the Water Village.
"Rebuilding their homes does not come under the purview of the ministry but I am certain that other relevant agencies are aware of the situation.
"It is, however, evident that the ministry is concerned on preserving the heritage of the Water Village as several new houses are being built," the minister said.
Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hazair also urged non-government organisations, including private sector to lend a helping hand to the fire victims.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin