Contest on fire prevention for longhouse folk

MIRI: A contest on efficacy of fire prevention and emergency measures is being planned for longhouse residents across the Marudi constituency.

Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supply) Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran said the proposal would involve the state Fire and Rescue Department in determining the criteria of the competition.

The longhouse folk can expect many attractive prizes up for grabs, he announced during a recent visit to Rumah Empaga at Sungai Beluru in Bakong, about 75km from here.

The 20-door longhouse is currently being rebuilt, aided by an allocation of RM50,000 from Entri, who is also Marudi assemblyman. The original settlement known as Rumah Degom was razed by fire in 2001.

According to Entri, there is a need for a long-term fire prevention and management programme for longhouses, which could include talks, demonstrations by firefighters, as well as drills for longhouse residents.

I hope that this fire prevention competition, to be held for longhouses and villages soon, would help raise the safety standards with regard to fires and other emergencies across rural settlements in Marudi, he said.

Meanwhile, Entri said Sesco should be ready to power up the lines connecting longhouses and settlements with the main grid system under the Rural Electrification Scheme ( RES), before Gawai Dayak.

In this respect, he advised potential consumers to undertake internal wiring at their respective units, of which they could also apply for Sesco loans to cover the costs.

The repayment of these loans can be included in their monthly bills later on, he added.