KAPIT: Deputy Minister of Regional and Rural Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi yesterday visited victims of a fire that razed 20-door Rumah Japok at Sungai Musah, Katibas about 35 minutes’ drive from Song town last Friday (Oct 11).
During the visit, he presented immediate cash assistance of RM1,000 to each of the 20 families for them to buy their immediate needs and items.
He also handed over donations from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu (RM1,000) and Assistant Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi (RM500).
Among those accompanying Nanta for the visit were Song district officer Jacklyn August, a political secretary to the chief minister Tengku Geruna and Sarawak administrative officer Robert Segie.
At the site, Tuai Rumah Japok gave a brief account on the fire that razed their double storey modern concrete longhouse, and informed that the security and development committee (JKKK) of the village had made a decision to build a new longhouse.
He said they would need government assistance to rebuild their homes, which would be constructed at a new site.
Speaking to the fire victims, Nanta assured that they would receive more assistance, provided they remain united.
“This is not the end, the government will give the necessary assistance for you to rebuild your longhouse,” he said, advising them to lodge a police report on the fire to enable the government to act on their request.
He also told the fire victims that RM4,000 was raised for them during the closing ceremony of Sarawak Iban Community Leaders Conference on Oct 12, which was given to Kapit Resident for disbursement.
To further assist the fire victims, Nanta also provided 10kg of nails, a hammer, handsaw, measuring tape, knife and an axe to each of the 20 families to assist them to build a temporary
He also gave two chainsaws, five wheelbarrows and shovels to be shared among them for the construction of their temporary shelter.
Earlier, Katibas assemblyman Datuk Ambrose Blikau Enturan chipped in RM10,000 to the fire victims.
Welfare Department Kapit also provided immediate assistance to the fire victims, while several
non-governmental organisations like Song Lions Club and Malaysian Red Crescent Kapit Chapter gave them cloth, food, cooking utensils and building materials.
Penghulu Galau Melina, who was also affected by the fire, said they moved to the longhouse in 2005.
A woman identified as Ebah Idau suffered burns on both her arms during the fire.