Tuesday, March 26

Rohani: New Disaster Unit to be set up soon, says Rohani


KUCHING: A Disaster Unit will be established immediately under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry in response to severe floods hitting the country recently.

Its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the unit’s main task would be to supplement the existing standard operating procedure (SOP) of other agencies during disasters.

She also disclosed that it would conduct simulations to better prepare the personnel in providing disaster aid and relief.

“Following unusual floods, particularly in the East Coast (of Peninsular Malaysia), and those happening in Sabah and Sarawak, we acknowledge the difficulties in handling such disasters because the existing SOP is mainly for normal incidents.

“Therefore, we believe that there is a need for simulations to be conducted at this ministry and other relevant agencies, to make them be better prepared for floods and other disasters since such measure has been proven effective in other countries, particularly Japan,” she told a press conference at Wisma Kebajikan here yesterday after being briefed about the flood situation in the state.

On a related development, she said her ministry was looking at introducing activities at flood evacuation centres to lift the spirits of the evacuees.

She also mentioned that flood victims in Sabah and Sarawak would receive the same amount as that given to those in the peninsula.

According to her, the ministry spent almost RM58 million as at Dec 31 last year in assisting the folk in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia who had been hit by the worst ever flooding there in the last four decades.