KUCHING, Oct 31: The resettled Bakun HEP communities in Asap Koyan Belaga, comprising 15 longhouses along the Asap and Koyan Rivers have benefited from the fire safety awareness and prevention programme led by Sarawak Energy in collaboration with the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Bintulu Zone conducted recently.
Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon officiated at the programme aimed to create greater awareness on fire safety and prevention measures among the residents of Apau Koyan in Belaga.
Held at Uma Juman, it was among Sarawak Energy’s various community development and engagement initiatives being rolled out in the area following the Bakun HEP acquisition.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Bomba on this important initiative looking into the safety of the community at Apau Koyan. Our progammes are run with like-minded organisations where each partner agency has a major role. This is part of a holistic and integrated plan to address the Asap Koyan community’s well-being, as part of our commitment to ensure we work with communities to leave a lasting positive legacy,” said Aisah Eden, Sarawak Energy’s executive vice-president for corporate services.
Commenting on the programme, longhouse chiefs Maren Uma Padan Bisau, Maren Uma Nyaban Kulleh and Maren Uma Huvat Laing of Uma Baha, Uma Badeng and Uma Lesong jointly expressed their belief that such intervention programmes were educational and vital in preventing and reducing longhouse fires.
“As a longhouse, we are a community living together under one roof. These briefings and practical demonstrations are very important in keeping our families and communities safe.
“Learning from past fire incidents at Apau Koyan, the community is well aware over how crucial it is to pay attention to the lessons shared during this safety programme as well as to put them into practice,” said Nyaban.
Meanwhile, Jiwari Abdullah, Sarawak Energy’s assistant general manager (AGM) for corporate social responsibility (CSR) stressed in his speech that the company hoped to ensure the community’s safety.
“This programme aims to build awareness of fire safety to lower the risk of a fire incident which can result in the loss of property or worse, lives.
“It is our hope that this fire safety intervention programme will help keep the community safer. At Sarawak Energy, safety is our top priority for our staff, our contractors and the communities which we serve,” he said.
Other than a safety demonstration and talk by Bomba, Sarawak Energy also contributed fire protection apparatus comprising 110 units of fire extinguishers and cabinets, hoses, nozzles and joints to ‘Peng Maren-Maren Uma Sungai Asap Koyan Belaga’ (Sungai Asap Koyan Longhouse Chiefs Association).
Also present were Bomba Bintulu Zone chief Unjar Lum, Pemanca Umek Jeno, and Councillors Eda Ibon and Tirah Liwan
In June this year, Sarawak Energy provided immediate relief to villagers of Uma Badeng after a 15 door-block of the longhouse was razed by fire on June 20 leaving some 100 villagers homeless.
In February 2013, the company also provided immediate relief aid to victims of the Uma Kulit fire which destroyed their 19-door longhouse. — DayakDaily