Repair works on houses affected by strong winds in Kampung Opar underway, says rep


Billy (third left) discusses things with Anelia (left) and Nojiw (second left) on repair work on Nojiw’s house. – Photo by Chimon Upon

BAU (Jan 16): Repair works on 16 houses affected by strong winds in Kampung Opar near here on Jan 4 are going on smoothly, says Opar assemblyman Billy Sujang.

He said the repair works were carried out using financial assistance from the state government’s Sarawak Poor Housing Improvement Project (PPRMS).

The maximum assistance is RM15,000 per house with additional funding coming from Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

Based on additional information from Bau District Office, the total cost of house repairs estimated by Public Works Department was RM289,050.

“For houses with minor damage, almost everything is ready. Six of them are being repaired now,” Billy told reporters after visiting the houses yesterday.

He also gave RM1,000 in compassionate money aid (BWI) from National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to the storm victims during the visit.

Billy said from the site visit, he was satisfied with the progress of the repair works and hoped the houses would be repaired soonest.

He said the rainy weather was one of factors that delayed the repair works.

Bau District Officer Anielia Siam, police chief DSP Poge Nyaon and Opar headman Dewen Giam were also present during the visit.

The strong winds that occurred on the evening of Jan 4 damaged 16 houses, six of them severely damaged, causing the occupants to be evacuated to a temporary evacuation centre in the village.

Meanwhile, several house owners expressed relief that their houses were being repaired.

Daid Nigop, 67, said he estimated his losses at RM50,000 to RM80,000 for the damaged house roof and a store.

“The strong wind happened about 6.20pm while the family was resting at the verandah. The strong wind blew the roof and damaged the store just within in few minutes,” he said, adding they (family) sought shelter at the village evacuation centre for four nights.

Daid, who also lost several important documents including a land title following the incident, said they were now putting up at their farmhouse while waiting for their house to be fully repaired.

“We hope the appointed contractor will expedite the repair works so that we can return home,” he added.

Another victim, Nojiw Ngenang, said he was grateful that repair works had commenced immediately after the incident.

“The repair work is almost completed. I must thank YB Billy Sujang for this assistance,” he said.

Nojiw said he was happy that none of his family members were injured in the incident.